The Court of Protection plays a vital role in safeguarding the rights and welfare of individuals who lack mental capacity. One of the key instruments of the legal framework is the COP3 form. This document has undergone several changes over the years, reflecting evolving legal requirements and the need for a more user-friendly approach. In this article, we explore the most recent changes which have been made to this important form. The COP3 form is a crucial part of the Court of Protection process. It is used to apply for permission to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to do so for themselves. These decisions can range from financial decisions to healthcare decisions, and the form is a crucial step in ensuring that the rights of vulnerable individuals are given the legal protection they deserve. Over the years, the COP3 form has evolved to meet the changing needs of both applicants and the Court itself. The most recent changes took effect in July 2023. Any applicant submitting an application to the Court of Protection will need to ensure that this most recent form is submitted as part of the application. What changes have been made? Streamlined layout and language One of the significant changes to the COP3 form has been the move to more straightforward and user-friendly design and the use of plain language. This is intended to make the form easier for applicants and medical professionals to complete the form accurately. Enhanced safeguards The most recent updates have strengthened the safeguards in place when completing the COP3 form. The changes provide for a more rigorous assessment of a person’s capacity and greater scrutiny of specific decisions which need to be made on an individual’s behalf. The changes to these safeguards have the intention of aiming to prevent the misuse or abuse of the powers granted through the form. Guidance updates The guidance notes at the end of the COP3 form have been updated to provide applicants and medical professionals completing the form greater clarity on the information the Court of Protection expects to have provided to them. Conclusion The COP3 form is a vital tool in ensuring that individuals who lack mental capacity receive the necessary protection and support that they need during the most vulnerable stages of their lives. The history of the form and including the most recent updates show the commitment of adapting this to meet the needs of the changing legal landscape and user needs. It is clear that ongoing efforts are being made to simplify the process of applying to the Court of Protection and provide more accessible resources to applicants and medical professionals completing the form. If you are considering making an application to the Court of Protection, it is essential to consult the latest guidance and resources available to ensure that you are completing the form correctly. You can also seek the assistance from a legal professional to help complete the form. Our Court of Protection team at Boyes Turner has the specialist knowledge to make all of those decisions in the most-inclusive and person-centred way possible. For further information, please contact the Court of Protection team on 0800 124 4845 or email us.