• Social Finance logo
  • IPS GROW logo

Supporting People with Health Conditions Into Work: Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Explore how employment specialists can use Individual Placement and Support to help those with complex health issues into work.

6,583 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    7 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Discover the key IPS principles and best practices for employment specialists

Studies have shown that although 90% of people with severe mental illness want to work, only 8% are actually working. Employment specialists who deliver Individual Placement and Support (IPS) work to change this.

On this course, you will learn how IPS is an effective way of supporting those with mental health and other health problems into paid employment and why it’s important. You will explore the role of the employment specialist, and learn the main IPS principles and best practices to help your clients reach their full potential, and feel supported throughout their employment journey.


  • Week 1

    An Introduction to Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

    • What comes first, employment or better mental health?

      Meet your educators and explore what you will learn on the course.

    • What does an Employment Specialist do?

      Understand the 8 principles of IPS, how you can implement them as an Employment Specialist, and how the course will guide you through real life examples that you might encounter in your work.

    • What difference will I make?

      Explore the difference that employment can make it to someone's health, and hear recovery stories from real IPS clients.

  • Week 2

    Integration with the Clinical Team

    • What is integration with a clinical team?

      Learn about the different members of a clinical team, hear from Employment Specialists about how they are integrated with their clinical team, and reflect on how your clinical team is structured.

    • Being the employment champion

      Understand how to promote employment in the team, "bust" any myths around it, and think about how to overcome challenges you might face.

    • Finding your voice

      Hear tips from Employment Specialists on how to find your own style of integration and build your own toolkit of resources to help you integrate with the clinical team.

  • Week 3

    Building a relationship with your client to find the ideal job match

    • How to build rapport with clients

      Understand methods for rapport building, including active listening, motivational interviewing, how to set boundaries with clients and prepare to manage challenging situations.

    • How to create and use Employment Profiles

      Understand what an Employment Profile is, how it can help with job matching, hear top tips from employment specialists in how to complete one, and practise completing a profile.

    • Identifying strengths, skills and barriers

      Learn how to identify strengths and skills, practise identifying these on an example client, and discuss strategies for overcoming potential barriers to employment.

    • Finding the right job match for your client

      Understand why job matching is important, hear tips from Employment Specialists on how to find the right job match, and practise finding a suitable job match for an example client.

  • Week 4

    Unlocking the right job for your client: Employer Engagement

    • Introduction to Employer Engagement

      Understand what employer engagement is, why it is important, and what the benefits to employers are.

    • How do you unlock the job market?

      Understand the best methods for researching and finding jobs, how to find hidden jobs that are not advertised online, and how to research an employer in preparation for your first meeting.

    • How to have a positive meeting with employers

      Learn how to build rapport with employers, develop a pitch to sell your service, prepare positive responses to combat negativity, and prepare to practise employer engagement.

  • Week 5

    Supporting your client to get a job offer

    • How to action plan to get a job

      Understand how to create an action plan with SMART targets, practise creating an action plan to help your client get a job, and access top tips and resources to help you.

    • How to disclose mental health

      Understand the importance of supporting your clients to consider whether to disclose their mental health, legal protections that exist, and reasonable adjustments that might be considered.

    • How to create a strong CV and prepare for interviews

      Practise helping your clients to create a strong CV and personal statement and plan for the practicalities of attending an interview.

  • Week 6

    Supporting clients to sustain their employment

    • Introduction to time unlimited support

      Learn the different stages of employment support and why time-unlimited support is important to helping your clients stay well in work.

    • In-work support

      Discover tools to help your clients stay well in work, including making wellness plans, building support around the client and understanding your role in ongoing job support.

    • Stepping down support

      Learn how to step down your support, whilst making sure that your client feels supported and empowered to sustain their job.

  • Week 7

    What is fidelity, why does it matter, and how do I achieve it?

    • The fidelity philosophy

      Learn what fidelity is, why it is important and how it can be a tool to help you to deliver the best outcomes for your clients.

    • Fidelity in practice

      Learn how to prepare for a fidelity review, how to complete a self-assessment and how to create an action plan based on your learnings to improve your practice.

    • Improving fidelity

      Learn what happens after you've gone through a fidelity review; how to identify areas that need improvement and start to take actions to improve fidelity.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore why employment is so important to mental health
  • Explore how Individual Placement and Support (IPS) helps clients back to work
  • Identify what the role of Employment Specialist involves
  • Discuss how Employment Specialists can deliver IPS most effectively, to help clients reach their potential

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for both new and experienced employment specialists who wish to support their clients to reach their potential by implementing best practice IPS.

The course is also relevant for clinical teams working with individuals with health conditions, and anyone considering a career supporting people with ill health back into work.

Who developed the course?

Social Finance

Social Finance is a not for profit that works to achieve sustainable social impact at scale. We are currently partnering with NHS England to help people with mental health issues into paid employment.


IPS Grow is a partnership of IPS experts providing hands on support, training and data management tools to IPS services and practitioners. IPS is the most effective model to help people with severe mental health illness into work.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...