About the Educational Mental Health Practitioners programme

What is the EMHP programme? 

This programme is a shared initiative between the Department of Education and Department of Health and supports the government’s priority to increase access of mental health and well-being support for children and young people. The Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) is a new professional role which delivers evidence-based early interventions for children and young people and parents/ carers in educational settings in England such as schools and colleges. 

This is a full time, year-long employment training programme on completion of which, you will qualify as an EMHP.  Educational Mental Health Practitioners will be one of the key roles in Mental Health Support Teams. 

What are Mental Health Support Teams? 

These teams, originally proposed in Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provisionwill have the responsibility for delivering schools’ overarching approach to providing mental health and well-being support for children and young people from January 2019.  

When can I apply? 

The next intake for UCL and KCL will be in January 2022 and services have begun to advertise for their EMHP trainee roles.  

How do I apply? 

For the November 2020 UCL intake and January 2021 KCL intake, EMHP job adverts are expected to go live on site such as NHSJobs, and organisation websites via the different NHS CYP services and directly by Local Authority or Third Sectors services.  It is recommended that you set up an alert using words such as ‘children and young people’, ‘mental health’ and ‘educational practitioner’. 

Application process:

Because this is a full time training post, initially you will apply for the training post with a Mental Health Support Team site just as you would with any other job application, and then you will be expected to make a separate application to the university to secure your place. 

Please see ‘Where Will I be Based' section below for the MHST sites for the next training cohort. 

All trainees will undertake this programme alongside employment in a Mental Health Support Team site 

N.B. Any students applying for this programme in the London region need to also secure a relevant EMHP post with a Mental Health Support Team Trailblazer site that is linked to either UCL or King College London (please contact KCL for KCL EMHP Programme details at

Please sign up to our mailing list to be informed of developments and receive notification of advertised roles.

What are the requirements? 

What are the requirements? 

The essential requirements for an EMHP training post are: 

  1. Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree (2:1 or 2:2) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required (in any academic subject).  
  1. Evidence of prior experience working with children and young people is preferred. 
What is the qualification? 

What is the qualification? 

Successful candidates will be offered a full-time training post, gaining credits towards a postgraduate diploma level qualification, plus guaranteed employment for one year on successful completion of the training programme(with a starting salary once qualified projected to be based on the NHS AfC Band 5 scale). 

What is the salary whilst training? 

This post is funded at NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) at the beginning of Band 4. The exact salary depends on whether the employing site is based in inner/ outer London.  Please see job adverts for specific details. 

What are the hours?

What are the hours?

The training programme for this post is FULL TIME (37.5 hours) for 12 months in duration and will consist of academic and supervised practice learning across educational settings, such as primary and secondary schools, and further education colleges.  

Where will I be based?

Where will I be based?

Sites for the UCL November 2020 intake include: 

Newham, Redbridge, Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham & Hertfordshire 

Delivery of the UCL programme will be provided through a combination of taught days at the Anna Freud Centre, independent self-directed study days as well as through working directly with children, young people, parents/ carers and educational settings. being and mainstream mental health services, and independent self-guided study days. 

What does the course involve?

What does the course involve?

During training, the post-holder will work under supervision to gain experience predominantly across educational settings to enable them to gain the level of competence required to deliver high-quality, evidence-based early interventions for children and young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems in educational settings. 

How is this course different to the CWP training?

How is this course different to the CWP training?

Although the training is similar, the Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) programme trains practitioners to work in schools and other educational settings. The CWPs are primarily trained to work across health and community settings. 

  • The EMHP qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma course and the CWP qualification is a Postgraduate Certificate course, therefore the workload for the EMHP programme course is higher. 
  • The EMHP programme offers employment for a year after successful completion of training. 


Below is some more course specific information on the EMHP Programme full time employment/training post: 

In line with the Government’s priority to increase access and availability of mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people, the new Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) role is an exciting opportunity to deliver evidence-based early interventions for children and young people, working across both educational settings in England. 

The training course is divided into 6 Modules, developing skills and knowledge in areas such as: 

  1. Children & Young People’s Mental Health Settings: Context and Values Developing the knowledge, aptitude and competence to work effectively in an inclusive, values driven service. The module provides a foundation in working as an EMHP and an awareness of key issues. 
  2. Assessment & Engagement: Provides trainees with a foundation level of knowledge and skills in assessing and engaging children and young people and their families in schools and colleges. 
  3. Evidence based interventions for common mental health problems with children and young people (Theory and Skills): Covers knowledge and skills in effective brief (low-intensity) interventions for children, young people and family systems based on the most up to date evidence, and with knowledge of a range of interventions (including written and computerised interventions) and services available to children and young people and families. It aims to develop practical intervention skills.  
  4. Working, assessing and engaging in education settings: Covers how to work in a range of educational settings including primary schools, secondary schools and colleges with respect to the mental health needs of young people and their families. Trainees will be taught about the roles and responsibilities of different education staff, relevant legislation for pupils with additional needs, the functioning of pastoral care systems in education and common challenges of working in educational settings. 
  5. Common Problems and Processes in education settings: Covers knowledge and skills in working with school staff, parents and young people to identify and support common problems experienced by children and adolescents in schools and colleges. 
  6. Interventions for emerging mental health difficulties in education settings: Covers the knowledge and skills to deliver early intervention approaches in education settings through providing EMHP consultations to education staff, supporting peer mentoring programmes and delivering group work programmes to children and young people, parents/ carers and teachers around common mental health problems. 
How do I apply to be an EMHP?

How do I apply to be an EMHP?

November 2020 intake

Services have begun to advertise for trainee EMHPs for the November 2020 intake. This is often through sites such as and as well as the organisations own website so we recommend setting up automatic job searches/notifications with the following terms:

  • Education Mental Health Practitioner
  • EMHP

If you have signed up to express your interest, we will email as soon as we have been notified that a job has been advertised (however this depends on when we are notified so please do not solely rely on this).

When you apply for a job, there will be guidance embedded into the advert about applying for the university course – you will need to apply to both the job and the university to be shortlisted for the role.

Each service has their own criteria for assessing applications and so please pay particular attention to the person specification for each role but as a minimum, candidates will need to demonstrate:

  • A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required (in any academic subject).

    Experience of working with children and  young people

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