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Understanding mental capacity
Understanding mental capacity

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3 What do you want to do next?

Having reviewed what you have learned about mental capacity and identified areas you would like to learn more about, now is the time to clarify your thoughts before deciding on your next steps.

Figure 3 What’s next?

If you did this course for personal interest you may not have any next steps. You may be happy with what you now know and may not wish to do any further learning. If, however, you are thinking about what to do next, the following activity will help you work through some decisions.

Activity 4 Clarifying your thoughts

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Read through the list of questions below and make some notes. The questions are divided into topics related to learning, personal circumstances and professional development. They are designed to prompt your thinking. As there may be quite a lot to consider here, you might want to make detailed notes and reflect upon them before moving on to your next decision.


  • Did you enjoy learning online? What are the best aspects and what did you find challenging?
  • Did you enjoy learning about mental capacity?
  • Were there topics you wanted to know more about that were not covered by this course? If so, what were they?
  • Do you want to do another course? If so, which subject area?

Personal circumstances

  • How do you think that issues of mental capacity apply to you?
  • Have you considered what you might do now or in the future in relation to your own mental capacity?
  • You may be caring for someone who permanently or periodically lacks mental capacity. Has the course helped you to understand the implications of this? If so, how might you use this knowledge to help the person you are caring for?
  • If a lack of mental capacity is affecting you or someone you care about, do you want to learn more about the support that’s available?

Professional development

  • If you are already working with people who lack mental capacity, do you want to stay in your current role?
  • What do you like best about your current role and what do you like least?
  • If you want to stay in your current role, what would improve it?
  • What further skills or knowledge do you need to acquire?
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Reflecting on these questions should have helped you clarify what you want to change, if anything, or how you want to progress. You might have found that you are happy with your current situation and do not wish to do any further learning or make any changes.

If you do wish to change or progress things, read through your notes again and summarise what you would like to do next.

For example, ‘I would like to learn more about what might happen if I lost mental capacity in the future’ or ‘I want to develop my understanding of mental capacity in order to further my career in social care.’

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You might have a lot of ideas about what to do next. Think about one at a time. Be realistic. You need to think about the time you have available to plan and implement any changes. Your ideas may be a mixture of short-term and long-term ones. The next section will help you with planning some of these steps.

Having reviewed your learning and clarified your ideas about possible future steps, you are now in a better position to think about how to achieve what you want to do next. You will do this in the next section. Even if you do not want to take the subject any further, you will still find this section useful.