§ Mr. Strang
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the criteria used in the appointment procedures of mental officers has changed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The original guidance issued in March 1985 referred to formal assessment by the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work of training undergone by candidates for appointment as mental health officers. Revised guidance issued in December 1986 excluded reference to formal assessment and required local authorities to be satisfied as to the competence of candidates to be appointed before 1 April 1988. The same requirement was prescribed for subsequent appointments in a circular issued in March 1988, which also consolidated the earlier guidance. A copy is available in the Library.