AMHP workforce plan and service standards

The role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) is one of the most important and senior professional roles in mental health services, operating across services, over 24-hours a day and working alongside many other professionals.

The AMHP role has been under a great deal of pressure over recent years and one of the findings of Health Education England’s (HEE’s) new roles research is that it has not had the same national attention and support that other senior professional roles have.

Access useful resources for anyone that's involved in developing and leading AMHP services.

AMHP Leads Google group
Keep up-to-date with discussions about the specialised day-to-day workings of the Mental Health Act, we recommend applying to join the AMHP Leads Google group - contact Steve Chamberlain on with a short description of your role and why you want to join.


National workforce plan for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs), DHSC (2019)

The National Workforce Plan for Approved Mental Health Professionals is written for local authorities, directors of adult and children’s social care, NHS Mental Health Trusts and Integrated Care System workforce leads to understand the role of the AMHP in mental health services, to coordinate the development of the AMHP role and to aid the recruitment and retention of AMHPs.

The document:

  • outlines the workforce plan
  • links to useful resources that describe the role of the AMHP and outline current standards, regulations and research that affect the role
  • has an appendix containing the AMHP service standards.


Support criteria and self-assessment tools for the AMHP service standards

The National Workforce Plan for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) contains the national AMHP service standards for England, which have been developed over the past two years with input from the AMHP Leads Network, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Social Work England, Social Work for Better Mental Health, Skills for Care and other key stakeholders.

The AMHP service standards are designed to provide consistent standards and a unifying and supporting framework for AMHPs across the country to address their operational concerns in relation to their welfare and draw on the emerging principles and priorities of the Mental Health Act Review (2018).

Health Education England’s (HEE’s) New Roles in Mental Health Task & Finish Group has recommended the development of a range of support criteria and self-assessment tools for the AMHP service standards, which will enable regional AMHP leads and principal social workers to use the standards to develop their AMHP services.

The AMHP workforce: research reports

Several organisations have done research about the AMHP workforce, which can inform local and national understanding and strengthen the case for NHS and local authority mental health services to work closely together to improve care and support for local communities. They can also help local leaders to understand the challenges and issues, in order to co-design solutions across partnerships.

This workforce intelligence report outlines important data and demographics about the AMHP role from research with 138 local authorities across England.

You can also view a pictorial summary of this report here

This report summarises the findings from two projects that explored the work of, and the adult social care workforce involved in, mental health services, in particular AMHPs.