Completed my Level 2 Certificate in Information, Advice or Guidance


The Level 2 Information, Advice or Guidance (IAG) qualification has been developed for learners working in this field to share good practice and build confidence in their ability to effectively fulfil their role as providers of advice and guidance.

What is the Level 2 Certificate in Information Advice or Guidance?

UK employers are often interested in candidates who can demonstrate an understanding of the importance of interacting appropriately with customers, clients and colleagues.

By studying the level 2 Information, Advice or Guidance (IAG) course, individuals will gain an in-depth understanding of the key areas associated with providing effective IAG, including signposting, referrals, record keeping, confidentiality and communication/listening techniques.


The IAG qualification will help learners to develop an understanding of the requirements of the IAG practice and aid them in guiding those that they are supporting to make informed choices.

  • Unit 1: IAG in Practice:
    • In this unit, individuals will learn about the various differences between IAG and the requirements of different clients and how these are best met.
    • It will also help individuals to gain in-depth knowledge of the boundaries and responsibilities present when offering IAG, including signposting, referrals and record keeping.
  • Unit 2: Developing Interaction Skills for IAG:
    • Within this unit, individuals will discover how to interact with clients, executing appropriate and effective questioning techniques, listening skills and non-verbal communication.
    • They will also gain knowledge of the impact of values, beliefs and attitudes on any interactions individuals may encounter, as well as the importance of confidentiality and impartiality.
  • Unit 3: Signposting and Referral in IAG:
    • In this unit, individuals will gain an understanding of the difference between signposting and referrals – when it is appropriate to refer or signpost an individual organisation’s procedures.
    • Employees will also gain knowledge of good practice when signposting and referring, including recording, monitoring and evaluating.
  • Unit 4: IAG in Context:
    • Within this unit, individuals will gain an understanding of IAG in the context of their own practice and a specific group of clients – exploring different ways of assisting clients to explore and make choices.
    • Knowledge on discriminatory practices and behaviours affecting specific client groups, as well as potential barriers and how to overcome them, are explored within this unit.
  • Unit 5: Skills for Advice Providers:
    • This unit provides individuals with an understanding of the purpose and process of an advice interview, examining the relationship between client and advisor, the advisor’s role, stages of the advice interview and how to ensure client confidentiality.
    • A key part of this section is gaining knowledge of social policy in advice work, negotiating effectively on a client’s behalf and support and action planning.

Learning Methods

This course will take approximately twenty (20) weeks to complete and consists of five (5) written assessments.

Each individual is required to give written responses to an assessment booklet. This can be either handwritten in the booklet itself or completed using an electronic template of the booklet.

Individuals will be required to submit five (5) assessments each taking approximately four (4) weeks to complete.

Psychiatric Nurses & Personal Initiative: What are the Factors to Consider?

Research Paper Title

Personal and organisational factors related to initiative behaviour among psychiatric nurses.


To identify the degree of personal initiative (PI) among psychiatric nurses and to examine the influence of personal and organisational characteristics on their PI.


Ninety-seven nurses completed a questionnaire on PI, work climate, self-efficacy toward initiatives and innovations, nursing work environment, and actual initiative at work.


Differences in actual initiative at work according to the level of education, and negative association between PI and age were found.

Self-efficacy and work climate explained 56% of PI; self-efficacy, work climate, and age explained 30% of initiative behaviour.


Investing in young nurses, fostering higher education, and creating a supportive work environment can help in conversion of innovative vision into actual initiatives.


Hendel, T., Chor, R., Kigli-Shemesh, R. & Kagan, I. (2020) Personal and organizational factors related to initiative behavior among psychiatric nurses. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12471. [Epub ahead of print].

E-Therapy & Training Future Psychiatrists

Research Paper Title

Therapy and E-therapy – Preparing Future Psychiatrists in the Era of Apps and Chatbots.


In both Canada and the USA, residency includes learning about psychotherapy.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada mentions several psychotherapies in its training objectives and states that residents must “demonstrate proficiency in assessing suitability for and prescribing and delivering” such treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in the USA sets out competency frameworks and assessments for psychotherapy in psychiatry post-graduate education.

Yet on neither side of the 49th parallel is there mention of e-therapies in training requirements.

Read the full article using the link below.


Gratzer, D. & Goldbloom, D. (2020) Therapy and E-therapy – Preparing Future Psychiatrists in the Era of Apps and Chatbots. Academic Psychiatry.

Course: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Just completed the 2-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course.

ASIST is intended as ‘suicide first-aid’ training.

It aims to enable helpers (anyone in a position of trust) to become more willing, ready, and able to recognise and intervene effectively to help persons at risk of suicide.

You can find out more about the ASIST course here.

Training Community Mental Health: Local Trainers vs Master Trainers

Research Paper Title

Evaluating a Train-the-Trainer Approach for Increasing EBP Training Capacity in Community Mental Health.


Research suggests the train-the-trainer (TtT) model may be an effective approach to training community mental health providers in evidence-based practice (EBP).


This study compared pre- and post-training consultation outcomes as well as standardised measures of trainer attributes and behaviours between university-based master trainers and experienced community-based supervisors, trained under the TtT approach.


Findings suggest local and master trainers are equivalent in terms of clinical teaching effectiveness and trainee-perceived charisma.


Master trainers may have higher trainee-perceived credibility, but training and consultation outcomes are equivalent across the types of trainers, with the exception of behavioural problems where clinicians trained by local trainers and master trainers saw significantly greater growth than those who received training and consultation by master trainers.


Triplett, N.S., Sedlar, G., Berliner, L., Jungbluth, N., Boyd, M. & Dorsey, S. (2020) Evaluating a Train-the-Trainer Approach for Increasing EBP Training Capacity in Community Mental Health. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research. doi: 10.1007/s11414-019-09676-2. [Epub ahead of print].

Partnering & the Interprofessional Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education Curriculum

Research Paper Title

Partnering for a Sustainable Interprofessional Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education Curriculum.


The World Health Organisation recommends that health care educators create a collaborative and practice-ready workforce.

Focused interprofessional education (IPE) promotes collaborative practice, yet few examples of how to develop sustained IPE and clinical partnerships exist.

Mental health care professionals competent in their specialty and prepared for interprofessional collaboration are needed to treat complex mental health needs of patients.


Doctor of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) faculty partnered with College of Pharmacy faculty to create didactic, clinical, and simulation coursework and IPE competencies within PMHNP courses.

Students developed skills about providing interprofessional mental health care.


Recommendations for faculties include:

  • Embrace the value of interprofessional faculty partnerships;
  • Plan for time, money, motivation, and recognition needed for sustainable IPE; and
  • Design courses that become part of the fabric of the curricula.


Embedding IPE into PMHNP curricula creates increased faculty satisfaction and positive feedback from students and clinical sites.


Peterson, B.L., Pittenger, A.L., Kaas, M.J. & Lounsbery, J.L. (2019) Partnering for a Sustainable Interprofessional Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education Curriculum. The Journal of Nursing Education. 58(12), pp.723-727. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20191120-08.