Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) Awareness

What is a ‘personality disorder’?

Image of woman with mental disorder holding broken mirrorA personality disorder is a mental health condition where individuals may have difficulty with intense feelings, thoughts and reactions about themselves or others that can impact on a positive senses of self, cause  difficulties in relationships and be problematic for the individual or those around them.

Personality disorders are commonly misunderstood by staff, service users and the general public but knowledge and training, such as the KUF awareness programme, is growing in this area to help practitioners, carers and staff teams to gain the key skills to support someone who has a personality disorder diagnosis.


‘Personality Disorder’ – Challenging the term

The term ‘personality disorder’ is currently used when describing the KUF course as well as the collection of symptoms under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM5) and International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD10). For some years the term has been challenged by those with the diagnosis as well as clinicians and service user supporters, with moves to change the name of the diagnosis. No new name is currently in use internationally, however the term ‘complex needs’ may be used instead of personality disorder.


About KUF awarenessKUF Logo

The Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) was created as a joint commission by Ministry of Justice and the NHS England with the expertise of the Institute of Mental Health, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, the Open University and Emergence to create a comprehensive way to enable practitioners to gain the valuable skills needed to positively work with people living with a diagnosis of personality disorders or display personality difficulties.

KUF is more than just a course, but a whole ethos on working proactively and jointly with those who have complex needs. This extends to the joint creation of the original 3-day KUF course through to the BSc and MSc courses by those with occupational experience of working with those with a diagnosis as well as those with a lived experience of the diagnosis.

The 3-day course was piloted in 2007 and has since trained more than 20,000 people. Windmill Training started running the KUF course in 2011 with the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust and Mental Health First Aid England for the Kent area. With the success of the project and delivery, Windmill Training are pleased to extend the running of the training to the Surrey and Sussex and London areas in conjunction with the Her Majesties Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS)


KUF Courses

2-Day KUF

The 2-day KUF was crated for those who work primarily with offenders. This would include prison and probation officers, forensic staff and supporting staff such as some charity workers who also work with offenders.

Windmill Training have been funded to run the 2-day KUF courses for those who work in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London areas.

3-Day KUF

The 3-day KUF was developed for anyone working with or supports someone with complex needs. This can include NHS staff, community practitioners and 3rd sector staff members. 

This course supports the NHS Longer term Plan for Adults in community settings and is available for any organisation that would like to increase their staff’s knowledge on personality disorder and complex needs. 

Please contact us to enquire about KUF training for your organisation