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Risk Assessment and Management Approaches

This is one of three modules in the Graduate Certificate for Personality Disorder.


This module includes the holistic (physical, psychological and social) assessment and management of people with personality disorder and/or challenging behaviour in both forensic services and the wider mental health services. 

The concepts of risk will be explored in this module, including risk to self, others and vulnerability; risk of suicide and self-harm will be a particular area of focus.  A number of different risk assessment tools and strategies to assess people with personality disorder will be examined.  The differences between for example, clinical opinion, actuarial and structured professional judgement tools will be described to aid understanding of the assessment process.  Utility and challenges associated with these assessment and diagnostic tools (PCL-R / IPDE/SCL-90) will be examined.  The skills necessary to assess problems including client’s motivation for change and understanding of therapy will be practised. 

Differences in presentation across services will be explored, for example, Accident and Emergency/ Acute units/ Prison/ Low, Medium or High Secure Hospital/ Community/ Police custody. 

Key learning is associated with: identifying ‘risky’ behaviours and offence paralleling behaviour; reflecting on how working with people with personality disorder can impact on individuals; team dynamics / working relationships. Upon completion of this module, practitioners will be more incisive. 

This is a SCQF Level 9 Module and upon successful completion, delegates will obtain 20 credits.


Delivery and assessment 

This module will be delivered through a combination of self-paced study and live sessions with University of the West of Scotland (UWS) teaching staff.  Course materials will be accessible via our virtual learning environment and the course content will also be accessible online for a short time after the module has been delivered, allowing delegates to revisit aspects of teaching.  A detailed timetable for the module will be available prior to course commencement. 

Delegates are required to complete a written assessment at the end of the module to demonstrate their learning.  Information about the assessment methods and deadlines will be made available to students soon after teaching begins. 



You should normally possess an appropriate Ordinary Bachelor's Degree in, for example, but not exclusively in: health; social sciences or business related field.  You must also be currently working in a health or social care environment or at least have current experience (normally within the last five years) which you can draw upon in order to meet the course's assessment requirements.  Please contact us if you have any queries about the entry requirements or the expectations of this module.


NOTE: This is a university module and upon approval of your application, you will be invited to register and then supported to complete enrolment. To enrol on the university system, the first step involves security set-up using the Microsoft Authenticator app; you will need to ensure that you have a compatible smartphone.

Further information is available at the Student Information Portal.

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