Good Training in education and social care is extremely important because of the impact it can have, not just on the staff member, but mostly importantly the people they support.
I’ve recently taught a three day RRN approved program to twelve, mostly new people to the industry and it was by far my favourite yet. I could tell by their verbal feedback at the end of each day that their motivation level, which grew each day, was extremely high. They were proud and excited to start or go back into their workplaces with an enthusiasm for reducing anxieties and triggers in the young people they support.
That alone, is a huge impact. Their enthusiasm will only serve to infect other’s but it will go further than all of that, it will reduce the likelihood that any of their students or service users will be held in a restrictive hold because they’ll always be using a primary or secondary strategy even during moments of crisis. This again is huge because it also safeguards those individuals from trauma and abuse. And as we all know, the earliest point to begin to deescalate is even before the first trigger.
Good training is so important, because it can do so much more than what it is originally intended. Good training, complemented by a good trainer can inspire staff in so many ways. And fundamentally, inspired, motivated staff are also staff who are going to be working hard to improve the service users quality of life and ultimately reduce any behaviour that challenges.
As some of you will be aware, there was a recent article from Ireland, where a young person articulated he wanted to end his own life because of the restraints that were being used on him. I was immediately curious what company they used and it was a system of training that I used to be a trainer of, which when I originally wrote this blog had yet to be approved by the RRN/BILD ACT and their training prior did not conform to the Standards, which we can see now how dangerous that is and how dangerous it has been for all this time. These events were common practice when I was growing up but were the normal practice. A poor culture was allowed to cultivate in this environment which was fed into by poor training and a total lack of awareness of trauma, with many other failures that can be identified.
I have lived experience of being held by staff who were only focused on risk reduction, not on the emotional impact that it was having on me, which was compounded by the training of the time but they were also probably the wrong staff
Good training ultimately contributes to Safeguarding, I strongly believe this and would always advocate, good training, along with robust internal recording procedures which then not only informs practice but informs the training, will ultimately lead to good outcomes for the people we support, because good training will not always give staff the information but facilitate their own learning, which in turn makes learning last longer.
I am immensely proud of the group I trained last week, it wasn’t three days of me lecturing, it was three days of conversation, I asked questions and the group discussed and listening to their thought processes really reassured me that the learners they were going to be working with were going to be safeguarded from the use of excessive force. This is why the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards exists and I believe this is the proof in the pudding. The organisation I am working in, has a seen a significant drop in the use of restrictive skills, in fact I cannot recall seeing the data when the last restrictive hold was used. This is as a result of the shift in culture, and this is quite contradicted with the previous training system that was used, restrictive holds were used multiple times daily.
In conclusion, based on what I have seen over thirteen years working in the industry, I can say that good training is key to a safe and effective provision. I believe it cannot be understated how important good training is on any provision.