A Wall is Not Just a Load of Bricks Arranged in Rows

People look at a wall and think that it is an arrangement of bricks laid next to and on top of each other. That is most people’s first impression. However, what really gives the wall its strength is the mortar and its design, and these are the bits we don’t really consider at first sight.

This is the same with Physical Intervention and Physical Restraint Training and a lot of use of force programmes.

People look at a wall and think that it is an arrangement of bricks laid next to and on top of each other. That is most people’s first impression. However, what really gives the wall its strength is the mortar and its design, and these are the bits we don’t really consider at first sight.

Anyone can place a brick next to or on top of another, but it takes a skilled bricklayer, possibly with years of experience, to produce a wall that is both functional and beautiful. The art of making sure that every brick fits perfectly and that the mortar is neatly deployed is something most of us take for granted until of course we try to build a wall ourselves.

You see a proper wall is not just a wall at all. It is years of practical experience combined with a knowledge of design and a lot of trail and error encapsulated in the bricklayers art. And the true test of a great bricklayer is their ability to be flexible in how they apply all of that to meet the needs of their customer so that the wall suits what the customer wants.

Lets face it, if you only had the ability to build one type of wall you’d be limited in the amount of customers you’d have. You see when you have knowledge, experience and skill you can be flexible and discretionary in how you approach what you do.

A Review of Officer Safety Training

In fact, in a Review of Officer Safety Training for the Police the Inspectorate stated something along the lines of: “It is important that an officer has training that can provide him or her with the knowledge and skills necessary so that they can use their discretion and judgement in situations that the textbook cannot plan for”.

And lets face it, if you are thinking of attending a Physical Restraint Instructors Course do you just want to be given a “toolbox” full of tools or a set sequence of techniques organised in a rigid rote order, or do you want the ability to have the knowledge and skills to allow you to become properly skilled in your craft?

This is what makes our training different from many of our contemporaries.

You see we are interested in making you skilled at what you do so that you have the knowledge to be able to use your judgement and discretion based on solid principles. To do this we provide you with a logical approach that enables you to understand the reasoning behind the way we do things that holds it all together – the mortar of the wall if you like. This is different to the subjective approach of many providers whose basis for instruction is based on, in many cases, a subjective opinion as opposed to logical fact.

In my book, ‘What is Physical Intervention?’ I wrote the following:

“Logic is reasoning, conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Logic allows people to construct a valid, deductive, well calculated and thought out argument based on sound reasoning and fact, for the purpose of deciding a defensible outcome.

Art on the other hand is a creative skill. It allows individuals to produce imaginative designs and the expression of ideas through various art forms, such as painting and sculpture.

Logic is based on scientific principles, the first of which is to ensure that all assumptions should be identified and challenged.

Art on the other hand suspends these principles in favour of imaginative creativity.

Logic can be objectively assessed, whereas art relies on the perception of the individual. In short we all know that 2 + 2 = 4, that is a logical calculation, but we can both look at a picture hanging in a gallery and have different opinions of how good or bad it is.

In the field of physical intervention, failure to use good logical reasoning to construct a practical and workable system of physical intervention, that is defensible by the very fact that it has been constructed around the rigorous discipline of a logical process, allows for artful subjectivity to creep in. It allows for ill-logical people, sometimes in positions of authority and influence, to express their imagination through creative subjective opinion.”

Therefore, if you are you considering becoming a properly qualified Physical Restraint Instructor what qualities are you looking for in the organisation that you intend to train with?

Has your organisations considered having its own in-house Physical Restraint and Breakaway Trainers which could save you lots of money and create flexibility in how you deliver your training to your staff?

Would you like the ability to leave a course with a step-by-step logical and legally defensible approach to delivering training? If so we can offer you all of that, and more. This is why more and more trainers and organisations are coming to us. It is not just for the training, it is for the support, knowledge and experience that we have that allows us to meet the varying needs of our clients and those we train as opposed to just providing training, as the following shows:

“In 2009 The Priory Group undertook a review of their Management of Violence and Aggression (MVA) training. After carrying out the review the decision was taken to change our approach to this training by adopting the NFPS Ltd system of work because we were looking for a more evidence-based approach to training provision which was:

1. Legally defensible

2. Ethically and morally appropriate for our range of client services

3. Which actually worked in practice – an important factor when considering the staff who would be expected to use the skills

4. Provided a cost effective, safe system of work.

Since moving over to the NFPS system of work we have managed to achieve all of the above points –   as well as providing training that keeps our clients and staff safe, a major benefit which has seen indirect and direct cost savings.

In addition, we also reduced the number of techniques now taught to staff from 137 to only 7. This is important in that if something is easy to learn it can be easily taught, and, more importantly, easily recalled when required in situations of high emotional arousal.

Recently we conducted an independent comparative survey of the new NFPS system against the previous system used. The research project was undertaken by the University of Southampton and the aim of the report was to ensure that the NFPS system of work is acceptable clinically, ethically and legally.

The findings from the survey were as follows:

1. The training provided by NFPS Ltd is consistent with all of the legal requirements for training that the Priory is expected to comply with, such as: the Mental Health Act [2007], the NHS paper ‘Proposed Standards for Training in the Prevention and Therapeutic Management of Violence in Adult Mental Health Settings [2003] and the Mental Health Act Code of Practice [2008], NICE Guidance [2005], the Care Quality Commission [2009] guidance that highlights staff support, appropriate training, safer services for patients and investment in the workforce with regard to their wellbeing and safety.

2. With regard to the use of force with children and young people the training provided by NFPS Ltd complies with all of the legislative requirements and is consistent with the following legislation: The Children Act 1989, The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, The Education and Inspections Act 2007 and the relevant guidance issued by various Government departments.

3. The training provided by NFPS Ltd is also compliant with all of the relevant statutory requirements in relation to the use of physical force including; Common and Criminal Law and the Human Rights Act 1998.

4. In addition, the training provided by NFPS ltd meets all of the Health and Safety legislative requirements, including techniques which are developed and assessed for risk consistent with the manual handling regulations 1992.

5. The seven techniques provided by the NFPS system of work provide sufficient restriction of patients to prevent aggressive or violent behaviour and were suitable across all clinical areas that the Priory, including Secure Services, Adults, Adolescents, Acute Services and Eating Disorders.

6. The staff feel supported and able to cope with the circumstances that may arise in all of the service areas because of the simplicity of the techniques and the legal and ethical underpinning the NFPS Ltd system of work provides.

7. All staff that took part in the survey confirmed that the training they receive is easier to work with than previous system of work used.

The one thing that makes NFPS Ltd stand out is the on-going support we get. If any advice is needed Mark Dawes is only a phone call or an e-mail away and we are able to call upon him at any time to assist us in any issue that we feel we require his input into – and most of this is done at no additional cost.

The training style used by NFPS is brilliant. Unlike some providers it is not demonstrative or autocratic. It is totally inclusive. Learners on courses are made to feel very welcome and put at ease right from the start and I think this is because Mark and John know their subject inside-out.

Group HRD Manager”

Quality not Quantity!

As you can hopefully gather from all of this we are committed to quality and not quantity. As such we only run two Instructor Courses a year which are always well attended.

The next course is taking place in September 2012 and places are going quickly. So if you would like to qualify with us then please go to the web-site and book your place now before they all go.

However, if you are just someone who wants a wall – please do not book. Let someone else have that place.

For more information about our BTEC Level 3 Advanced Restraint & Breakaway Instructors Qualifying Course go to: http://www.nfps.info/NFPS-BTEC-Level-3-Restraint-and-Breakaway-Instructors-Course


I am the Director and National Coach Tutor of NFPS Ltd., a specialist provider of Conflict Risk Management Consultancy and Training with specific expertise in Physical Restraint, Breakaway and Self-Defence. In addition to providing training, advice, consultancy and guidance on the physiological aspects mentioned above, we also provide training in NLP, Hypnosis and Meditation as these skills combined provide a holistic way to improve our psychology. By helping people improve both, their physiology and their psychology, we provide a complete and holistic approach to training and development.

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Posted in Physical Intervention, Reasonable Force

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