The present study examines the relationship between the knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for a learning disability (based on DSM IV criteria), care practices and experience in health care and social care staff. Responses to a questionnaire were analysed in terms of participants emphasis on: recognizing duty of care; enabling choice; non-aversive and aversive strategies. Results indicated that the knowledge of the criteria for a learning disability was limited, with only I6% of the sample correctly identifying all three criteria. There were no significant differences between the two groups in relation to experience or level of knowledge. No clear cut differences were found between the groups in relation to tendency to emphasize a particular management approach, with the strategies adopted appearing to be influenced by vignettes used in this study. Participants tended to give responses that identified both a recognition of their duty of care to clients and the need to enable choice. Limitations of this study are discussed.