The training courses within this folder are NOT validated by the Open University. They are IMH short courses. On successful completion, the students will receive an IMH Certificate.
The courses will be overseen by a KUF Programme Oversight Committee (KPOG) and monitored by our Quality Lead.

Rationale for the module

The National Personality Disorder Offender Pathway requires a whole systems approach across the criminal justice system and the NHS recognising the various stages of an offender’s journey, from conviction, sentence, and community based supervision and resettlement. The pathway aims to ensure that the treatment and management of offenders with personality disorder is psychologically informed and led by psychologically trained staff. In response to this, this module provides staff with the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills to engage effectively with offenders. The module will focus on the core principles of engaging effectively with a focus on relationships and the social context in which people live. The module will enable students to develop an understanding of key interpersonal processes that impact on engaging with offenders with personality disorder and the way in which joint service delivery can contain, support and intervene effectively.

Rationale for the module


Practitioners working with women with personality disorders need to be aware of the special and complex issues around gender and identity. Contexts in which these issues are particularly important include high and medium security prisons and mental health units, as well community-based services including hostels, and therapeutic settings.

This module is a response to an explicit government request to develop a gender-sensitive component of the Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF). A critical understanding of gender and identity issues relating to personality disorder (PD) is essential for effective therapeutic understanding and intervention. Such understanding requires individual self-reflection aimed at developing a capacity to recognize relational aspects of this situation. 

The key purpose of the module is to enable the students to develop an understanding of how the social constructs of gender and identity can inform their attempts to make sense of the presenting behaviours and maladaptive strategies of women diagnosed with a personality disorder.


These courses are run via the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in Nottingham. They are funded by the regional HMPPS/NHS England co-commissioners. They are NOT validated via the Open University.

The courses will be overseen by the IMH Quality Lead.

Students will receive an IMH certificate following successful submission of their assignment.