Introducing Liberty Protection Standards

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How to make the transition from DoLS to LPS

Many people in the UK experience deprivation of liberty. This includes those with autism, dementia and learning disabilities. Deprivation of liberty is intended to enable a person's care or treatment when they lack the mental capacity to consent. Safeguards are put in place to protect such people. As of April 2022, new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will be in force, affecting an estimated 300,000 people in England and Wales.

April 2009

An amendment to the Mental Capacity Act (2005) introduces Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

March 2014

The Supreme Court clarifies in what situations a person can have their liberty taken away.

May 2019

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act introduces updated regulations on deprivation of liberty: Liberty Protection Standards (LPS).

July 2020

Implementation of LPS is delayed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

November 2020

The government responds to negative feedback and amends LPS. Care Home Managers will no longer be able to take the lead on assessments, allowing independent review of care arrangements.

Late 2021/Early 2022

The LPS Code of Practice is published.

April 2022

LPS comes into force across England and Wales.


DoLS runs alongside LPS for one year to ease the transition.

Supreme Court Cases

The need for an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act became apparent following significant court cases concerning deprivation of liberty. Many people were experiencing deprivation of liberty unlawfully. This included constant supervision and control. Some of these people were forced to remain in these situations, regardless of whether they wanted to stay. The outcomes of these cases have greatly impacted the new LPS.

Case 1

A 39 year old male with learning disabilities and cerebral palsy lived in a small group home. He needed help with most everyday tasks and activities.

Case 2

Two teenage sisters, both with learning disabilities, seemed happy with their active lives. One lived with a foster mother, and the other lived in an NHS facility. The foster mother and the NHS facility made it clear that they would restrain the girls if they attempted to leave.

Supreme Court Ruling

The supreme court ruled that all three individuals were deprived of their liberty. They stated that human rights are universal, and that what constitutes deprivation of liberty for one person would constitute deprivation for all, regardless of disabling factors.

The court defined deprivation of liberty as "continuous supervision and control ... not free to leave"

In its ruling, the court also introduced the Acid Test. This refers to looking at what is actually being done to a person, rather than that person's reaction to it. A deprivation of liberty can be seen as such, whether the person objects to it or not.

What is Changing?


Available for people aged 18+

Difficult to navigate

Available in hospital & care home settings

Duty to consult with carers


Annual renewal required

Authorized by Supervisory Body


Available for people aged 16+

Simple & streamlined

Available in a huge range of settings, including domestic

Duty to consult with anyone interested in person's welfare

Introduction of AMCPs

Following initial year, renewal required every 3 years

Responsible Body, e.g. hospital manager, CCG, etc, provide authorization

Assessing Care Needs with LPS

Assessments for deprivation of liberty under LPS include:

  • Capacity Assessment

Is the individual capable of consenting to care arrangements?

  • Medical Assessment

Does the individual have a mental disorder?

  • Necessary and Proportionate Assessment

Are the arrangements necessary to prevent harm to the individual?

Are the arrangements proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of the risk of harm to the individual?

The Role of AMCPs

AMCPs are Approved Mental Capacity Professionals. Under DoLS, there were many court cases concerning deprivation of liberty disputes. Part of the new AMCP role is managing such disputes. In cases where it is clear or suspected a person objects to their care arrangements, the AMCP completes a thorough review.

In some ways this role is similar to that of Best Interest Assessors (BIAs). However, it is specific to carrying out LPS.

The AMCP provides additional protection for the person receiving care and the care providers. They carry out in depth assessments of every case, in great detail.

Providing Training for LPS

Under the former system, DoLS, decisions about care were made by BIAs and mental health assessors. Under the new LDS system, no specific training is required for assessors. However, it is important that assessors are trained to put LPS in place correctly and effectively.

Organisations need to make decisions about how best to train staff:

  • Which members of staff will take on which responsibilities?
  • Should depth of training be based on role and duties?
  • Should all staff receive the same training?
  • How will LPS affect the day-to-day activities of the organisation?
  • How will staff prepare for the transition to LPS?

In the case of AMCPs, specific training is essential. This is a specific role that requires qualified individuals to make important decisions for those with complex care needs. With similarities to the BIA role, it may be beneficial to create conversion training courses for existing BIAs to become AMCPs.

How can we help?


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Educations Resources

Our Mental Capacity training course has been updated to include LPS regulations and guidelines.

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