Which Course? - Advocacy Training

Explore our Courses pages directly, or see below to help you decide what is right for you.

Unit 201

If you wish to gain information and understanding of what advocacy is and how it is used, to:

  • Inform your own role, perhaps as a social worker, nurse or advice provider
  • See if advocacy might be the career for you
  • Provide Independent Health Complaints Advocacy

Then our open access Unit 201 course in central London would be a beneficial choice

We can arrange for a team of 6-12 to receive the Unit 201 training at a venue of your choosing nationwide – please Contact Us for a discussion of your requirements and costs.

Level 3 City & Guilds Qualification in Independent Advocacy (QIA)

Are you a new advocate seeking to formalise your vocational learning journey, or are you an experienced advocate wishing to have your skills and knowledge formally recognised? The City & Guilds QIA is the route for you.

The QIA is a competency award relying on the production of work based evidence to complete a portfolio. It is essential that you are a practising advocate to achieve this award.

Those completing the course need to attend the training for the four Core Units and a Specialist Unit (or two if you wish to achieve the diploma) and then complete a portfolio for all five units.

Core Units + Specialist Unit(s) = Qualification in Independent Advocacy (QIA)

See QIA Core Units for more details and book onto the next course.

Specialist Units

To gain the full Level 3 QIA you will need to choose one of these, relevant to your role, to complete along with the Core Units.

Alternatively you can achieve accreditation for any stand alone Specialist Unit for which you will receive a certificate of unit credit from City & Guilds.

This is not the full qualification but is nonetheless a recognised achievement. You must be practising in the appropriate field to produce the evidence for your portfolio.

You can also attend the training only for any of the Specialist Units for professional development. You do not need to be a practicing advocate if you are only attending the training for professional development, though some advocacy knowledge and/or experience is advisable.

The prices of these options can be found on Our Courses

Unit 305 – Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Level 4

If you are about to embark on a new role as an IMCA advocate, or you already have some experience in this area then this is the Specialist unit to choose for your QIA.

It is acceptable to commence working as an IMCA before achieving your qualification, though it is recommended that you attend the training early on and work towards the QIA within your first year of practice.

Already qualified advocates can take this specialist unit for stand alone accreditation (though you must be practising as an IMCA to achieve it) or attend the training only for professional development.

Unit 306 – Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) Level 4

It is essential that Independent Mental Health Advocates achieve their QIA with Unit 306 specialism within the first 12 months of their practice. This is a statutory requirement and is an expected obligation to commissioners of the service.

Unit 307 – Providing Independent Advocacy Management Level 5

If you are running an advocacy service, or you are about to take on this role then this specialist or stand alone accredited unit would be your choice.

Unit 308 – Providing Advocacy to Adults Level 4

This is a useful course for those working with adults with learning difficulties, mental health services users in the community, disabled people, LGBTQ+ and people from other seldom heard groups.

It is a course designed to provide advocates with the skills and knowledge to support individuals who are routinely marginalised and would benefit from advocacy to have their voices heard and be actively involved in decisions made for and about them.

Choose this specialist unit as part of your QIA to give you the most options regarding the advocacy role you work in. Alternatively complete it as a stand alone accredited unit or attend the training only for professional development.

Unit 309 – Providing Independent Advocacy to Children and Young People Level 4

Those who wish to provide advocacy to children and young people or who already have experience in doing so can take this course as part of their QIA or as a stand alone unit for accreditation or for professional development.

Unit 310 – IMCA: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Level 4

If you are a practising advocacy working in the field of DoLS, or you are about to become one, this will benefit you. It is often taken together with Unit 305 IMCA unit as the two often cross over within the same role.

Completing both Unit 305 and Unit 310 as part of your QIA will result in achievement of the City & Guilds QIA Diploma.

People working as Relevant Person Representatives (RPR) can also take this course as a stand alone accredited unit to achieve a certificate of unit credit, or you can attend the training only for professional development.

Unit 311/312 – Mental Capacity/Mental Health Legislation for the Independent Advocacy role Level 4

Those who wish to expand their knowledge on mental capacity (Unit 311) and/or mental health (Unit 312) legislation can undertake either or both of these units. You may find them beneficial if you are:

  • A social worker, healthcare or other relevant professional seeking to expand your knowledge in these areas
  • An advocate whose work sometimes requires knowledge of these areas but who is not already taking the IMCA, IMCA DoLS or IMHA units
  • An advocate who has achieved the QIA and wishes to develop their learning further to achieve enough credits for the City & Guilds diploma


Under C&G Rules of Combination the following combinations are NOT allowed

  • Unit 305 barred with Unit 311
  • Unit 306 barred with Unit 312
  • Unit 310 barred with Unit 311
  • Unit 311 barred with Unit 312
  • Unit 312 barred with Unit 310

Unit 313 – Providing Independent Advocacy to Support the Care Act 2014 Level 4

This unit is for new Care Act advocates or those advocates who have been practicing since the Care Act 2014 was implemented.

Advocates hoping to work as Care Act advocates must have a suitable level of experience, for example working with groups of people who may have substantial difficulty in engaging with assessments and care and support planning.

Once appointed all Care Act Advocates should be expected to work towards the Level 3 QIA within a year of being appointed (DoH Care and Support (Independent Advocacy Support) Statutory Guidance 2014)

Already qualified Advocates can choose to undertake the Care Act Advocacy Unit via the accredited route, or you can attend the training only as professional development.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) /Bespoke Courses

These include:

  • General Advocacy
  • Peer Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Communication Skills
  • Non-Instructed Advocacy
  • Working With Advocates: A Health and Social Care Perspective
  • Human Rights in Advocacy
  • Independent Health Complaints Advocacy
  • Advocacy Techniques for Non-Advocacy Roles
  • Supervision Skills

All courses can be combined and/or tailored to create something unique to the needs of your organisation.

Explore our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) pages for something to suit your team.

We can also deliver any of the City & Guilds accredited courses in-house or at a local venue, either for accreditation or as continuing professional development. Distance learning options are also available.

See C&G and CPD Courses pages for prices or Contact for further details.

Other information you may find useful