Violence at Work (UK)

Choosing a training provider

Our directory of UK Workplace Violence Prevention and Management Training Providers is, to the best of our knowledge, the most comprehensive available. You can use it to link directly to the training providers' web sites. Please remember, you alone are responsible for the choices you make!

Are you really ready?

Protection against violence and aggression can't be maintained by the provision of training alone and "one shot" training courses don't solve the problem.

So, don't just jump in!

Have management controls in place first

It is usually best to ensure that management controls (i.e. Policies, Risk Assessment, Behaviour Plans, Reporting Systems, Safe Practice Guidance and Instructions, Crisis Procedures, etc.) are established before deciding on the training to be provided. (The process will help to identify staff training needs.)

Not there yet?

If you aren't, you may like to consider getting professional consultancy, advice and practical support. Some training organisations offer this service.

Take your time choosing

Selecting the right training provider is crucial to the success of a workplace anti-violence strategy and the future security of your organisation. It's worth investing time and effort to ensure you make the right choice.

Be able to make an informed choice

Training course content varies greatly and the differences can be significant.

It is strongly recommended that you read the information on "Staff Training" first.

To do it now Click Here

Aim to get 'Best Value'

Keep in mind how much is at stake. The 'cheap as hell' deal you're being offered may not be a cost effective solution in the long run. Aim to consider not only a favourable price, but also the quality elements of a bid for service provision and play safe. Award your contract to the training provider that supplies the "economically most advantageous tender".

(Examples of relevant criteria might include how long the firm has been operating, the scale of the organisation and its capacity to supply back up and other support facilities, its existing client base, membership of a relevant professional body, experienced, professionally qualified training instructors.)

Approved training and accredited training providers?

Some training providers are accredited by recognised qualification awarding bodies such as, Edexcel, the National Open College Network (NOCN), City and Guilds and the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). This means that the organisation and delivery of training courses will normally be quality assured. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the content of the training has been vetted, assessed and approved by anyone, other than the person(s) who designed the course, as being suitable for employees to learn.

The Institute of Conflict Management (ICM) requires its members to agree to abide by a Code of Practice and disciplinary procedures. But, membership of the ICM doesn't guarantee that training course content will be suitable for the purposes of employees. The ICM make it quite plain that membership in no way confers ICM accreditation of any course materials or of the individual member or on any company, organisation, training schemes and/or courses with which the member may be associated. So, at present, membership of the ICM simply means the member has made a commitment to “Setting standards in the prevention and management of aggression and conflict."

In April 2001, The British Institute of Learning Difficulties (BILD) introduced a new Code of Practice for trainers in Physical Interventions. The Code is very explicit in detailing what is regarded as best practice and the standards within the Code also form the basis of the BILD Physical Interventions Accreditation Scheme. This process uses a variety of ways to establish whether or not an organisation is delivering training within the standards of the Code of Practice.

Accredited Training Providers are listed on the BILD web site.

NOTE: BILD aren't (yet) accrediting particular techniques but measure training against the Code of Practice. You have to pay to find out what the BILD Code of Practice is. Training providers who claim to be complying with the BILD Physical Interventions Code of Practice are not necessarily accredited by BILD. Adopting the Code is the initial stage of working towards accreditation and can only be regarded as a statement of intent. Also, BILD's policy at present is to only accredit training organisations that deliver training to services that care for or educate people with learning disabilities, adults and children with autism and Children with SEN & EBD.

Be warned (and not taken in)

Home Office approval of training provided to Prison Officers and Police does not extend to approval of the same training for members of the public (i.e. civilian employees) and there are very good reasons why!


Protect your organisation's reputation ferociously!

The impact of unsuitable training can be devastating.

"Be satisfied, so as you are sure" that the training provider's credentials, manner, background and attitudes are in keeping with your organisation's aims, philosophy and ethics.

Ensure the training will be compatible with staff values

Take the trouble to examine proposed training content in detail and do your research diligently. Consider carefully how the training content would be greeted by your employees. It is imperative that they feel the training is of benefit and they're unlikely to feel that way if they are being trained to do things which they are averse to - like being aggressive to someone and hitting them.

Know what you want to achieve before you make contact

Have a good idea of:

  • How many people need to be trained

  • What their training needs are (as identified by risk assessment)

  • Your training aims and objectives (short term and long term)

  • What you definitely don't want

  • Your preferred delivery schedule

  • The cost of hiring local training facilities (if they're not available at your workplace.)

Opt for a trainer that has experience in your sector

If the training provider has experience training people in the same occupation as yours they will be more familiar with the kinds of problems being encountered (and the ways to overcome them) and also knowledgeable about service procedures and work practice. This can be vital.

Explore the web links

The long list of Training Providers may, at first sight, seem daunting to wade through. But, don't be deterred. You can actually sift through them quite rapidly.

The name will give you a clue of what kind of organisation they are and by exploring the links to Training Provider web sites you can quite quickly get a sense of who you would be dealing with.

Prior to ordering

Meet more than one training provider.

Take the trouble to check out the training provider's references. (Phone their clients and ask for their views.) Ask to see course critiques / feedback forms from previous programmes. Ask whether instructors are professionally qualified.

Do they have full Personal and Public liability insurance cover? (Ask to see the Certificates and ALWAYS CONTACT THE INSURER AND VERIFY THE INSURANCE COVER IS APPROPRIATE AND CURRENT.)

Ask yourself this

A question that is always worth answering before you order training from anyone is, what impression they might form in the minds of people sitting on a jury if they were ever called to give evidence on the standard and suitability of training provided and what effect that might have on you!

Final words of warning

If you're seeking training which involves practical self defence skills or Physical Intervention / Restraint, make sure you know what you are buying!

And, always ask to see their "Record of injuries during training".

Training in physical management skills is 'high risk'. Staff may actually be more at risk of injury on a training course than in the workplace! Gournay (2001) reported 18.8% of nursing staff had sustained injuries whilst participating on training courses, with ‘one in six of these requiring some medical attention’.