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Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is about supporting people to make decisions about their health, welfare and finances.

The Act means that every adult is presumed to have capacity to make decisions, unless stated otherwise.

There are important changes in how healthcare workers meet their legal and professional responsibilities under the Act.

The 'Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 - Guidance for Healthcare Workers' programme on HSeLanD helps you apply the Act in practice.


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Module 1: guiding principles

This module informs you about the decision-making capacity legislation that came into force in April 2023.

Under this law, healthcare workers have a responsibility in supporting a person to be involved in decisions affecting them.

This module helps you understand the guiding principles of the Act.

Module 2: working with decision supporters appointed under the 2015 Act

Decision supporters have legal authority to support a person to make decisions. This module introduces the concept of decision supporters and who can be one.

You will learn about:

  • roles and responsibilities of the decision supporter
  • how to interact with them
  • when it’s appropriate to contact the decision support service

Module 3: Advance Healthcare Directives

An Advance Healthcare Directive (AHD) is a document setting out the healthcare treatments a person wishes to refuse or request in the future, when they no longer have the capacity to do so.

The aim of this module is to raise awareness of Advance Healthcare Directives (AHD) and how to apply them in your practice.

Related content

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act (2015) -

HSE Consent Policy

National Consent Policy e-learning

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Healthcare workers providing services for or on behalf of the HSE should complete the HSE National Consent Policy 2022 e-learning programme on HSeLanD.

The program uses patient stories and decision-based scenarios to test your ability to apply policy in practice.


These modules will prepare staff to ensure that valid consent is sought for every intervention in line with the HSE National Consent Policy (PDF, 767 KB, 24 pages)

Module 1 – general principles

By completing this module you will be able to:

  • seek valid consent
  • support a person to make choices by providing relevant, accessible information
  • respond appropriately when a person refuses consent

Module 2 - working with children and young people

By completing this module you will be able to:

  • seek valid consent for an intervention involving a child or young person
  • support children and young people to participate in decision-making
  • take steps to resolve disagreements in a child’s best interests