School of Forensic Mental Health

The School of Forensic Mental Health (SoFMH) was established in 2007 to address concerns around education and training, to promote research across the estate, and assist in building an evidence base for services.

The SoFMH offers teaching and training to all professional groups and agencies involved in the assessment and care of mentally disordered offenders and others requiring similar services. The SoFMH has access to many experienced professionals and can support services or partner agencies in the development of teaching materials, courses or research. It provides a focus for supporting, developing and delivering multi-disciplinary and multi-sector educational and research initiatives.

It is a virtual School that is available to all colleagues and associates from across the Forensic Network to assist with any teaching, training and research needs.

The Structure of the SoFMH


The SoFMH is directed by a multi-disciplinary Governance Committee who meet biannually and an Operational Team who meet bimonthly and report to the Governance Committee.

Academic Courses The SoFMH works with several higher education providers to deliver academic courses. We deliver a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Forensic Mental Health in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University, a short course on forensic mental health in collaboration with New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus) and a Graduate Certificate in Personality Disorder with the University of the West of Scotland. More about these courses can be found under the section Academic Courses.

Professional Short coursesSince our inception in 2007 there has been a rapid increase in the demand for professional short courses. The model involves expert clinicians active in the forensic field developing and delivering short courses in multi-agency fora. High standards of teaching are maintained and governed rigorously. The SoFMH provide an extensive range of 35 skills based short courses including: risk assessment and risk management; legal aspects; clinical assessments and psychological interventions. The courses are delivered by leading clinicians in their areas and ideas for new courses are generated from across the entire estate. To submit a suggestion for developing a course, please contact the administration team. To see our upcoming courses please visit our Upcoming Clinical Fora, Training and Events page. To read more about the courses we have on offer please see our short course page and our prospectus.

New to Forensic Programme Suite New to Forensic is an introductory programme that is delivered across Scotland for both clinical and non-clinical professions. Its rapid success lead to the development of two new programmes; New to Forensic Essentials of Psychological Care; and New to Forensic: Medicine, which is designed for healthcare professionals delivering care in police custodial settings. To read more about this suite of programmes please visit our New to Forensic page.

Research Special Interest GroupThe research initiatives across the forensic mental health estate are coordinated through the Forensic Network Research Special Interest Group (FNRSIG). The group have contributed towards a wide range of activities including the Forensic Network Census and Database, an evaluation of the BEST Index and PECC, and an evaluation of Clinical Supervision. The group are supported by the Network to host an annual conference to support and promote research across the estate. The Network and SoFMH have also hosted and co-hosted several national conferences, and have developed strong international links, being represented on the boards of both the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) and the International Institute of Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).  To read more about this research group and the current research initiatives taking place across the estate, please visit our research section.

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) - Dr Julie Snowden, Consultant Neuropsychologist and honorary reader in the Cerebral Function Unit in Greater Manchester kindly agreed to develop this educational resource on SoFMH’s behalf and we would like to thank her for producing a practical and informal guide to FTD. We would also like to thank colleagues from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Mental Welfare Commission, neurology and the Mental Health Division of the Scottish Government for their assistance in preparing this resource. We trust that you will find it useful.  To view a copy of the FTD Educational Resource and for further information, please click here.