Welcome to the Knowledge and Understanding Framework

A logo for Knowledge and Understanding Framework Training

As part of our strategy to improve the support and experiences people with personality disorders have of services, we are offering free Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) training to those working in mental health, social care, criminal justice, and housing services.

KUF is a national training programme designed for anyone working with people with complex mental health needs associated with a diagnosis of ‘personality disorder.’ The training takes a co-produced, multiagency, trauma-informed approach to working with the complexities associated with this diagnosis.

KUF is designed to:

  • Explore different perspectives around complex mental health needs associated with the diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’,
  • Outline different ways of understanding complex mental health needs through examining how someone’s past experiences can affect their present,
  • Develop an understanding of how to work effectively with people with complex mental health needs, considering how teams and individuals can remain effective and resilient,
  • Reflect on different approaches to working with people with complex mental health needs and the impact of reactions and responses,
  • Explore the impact of working with people with complex mental health needs on the wider team.

Discover further details about what the training covers: KUF 3 Day Multi-agency Online Training Schedule [docx] 70KB

Course format

The course consists of 3 days of facilitated online learning (09:00 to 16:30) and 6 online modules which are to be completed outside of the training days over the intervening 3 weeks. 

To complete the course, students need to attend all 3 days of the course and complete the online modules and exercises. Students will be awarded a certificate once the course has been completed.


Simon Barker

A portrait photo of Simon Barker I have worked in the mental health sector for over 20 years, developing co-designed and co-delivered services for people living and working in Norfolk and Suffolk. A large part of this work involved orientating staff to new models of working within services that champion lived experience, recovery work and the social model. I have my own lived experience of navigating mental health challenges.

Sally Harrington

A portrait photo of Sally Harrington I’ve worked in the mental health sector since 1985, in a variety of settings including the NHS, Social Services, and several voluntary sector organisations. I’ve always been committed to innovation in mental health work, and to promoting the value and influence of lived experience. I have substantial experience as a mental health carer, and have a background of complex emotional needs myself.

What people have said about the training

  • "Excellent training and very well delivered."
  • "I loved this training, and it has given me confidence to be able to stand for culture change."
  • "The training was really comprehensive, thought provoking and at times made me challenge my beliefs."

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