Code of Practice for Trainers

This Code of Practice has been developed partly in collaboration with trainers and other training organisations. Specifically, it describes good practice in the development, delivery and monitoring of training.

Team Teach is committed to this Code and will require all trainers to work within the good practice guidelines and principles identified.

1. Policy Issues

  • A values base set out in the policy that underpins the positive handling strategies.
  • The legal framework, for example, duty of care and health and safety requirements which applies to participants in their workplace.
  • Organisational policies on the management of nonverbal and verbal challenging behaviour which apply to course participants in their workplace.
  • Organisational policies on the use of positive handling strategies which apply to course participants in their workplace.
  • The principle of a gradual and graded continuum of response moving from least intrusive to more restrictive dependent on the circumstances.
  • Good practice in reviewing risk assessment and support needs for all individuals involved.
  • The importance of systematically monitoring the use of positive handling strategies and procedures to protect the best interests of individuals and staff.
  • A named person/body responsible for such monitoring and evaluating.
  • Staff should have an individual copy of their employer’s Positive Handling Policy and evidence should be available of such a policy being read.

To ensure that staff training links directly with organisational policies, trainers should:

  • Provide a pre-training briefing session for service managers and staff. See initial visit form.
  • Ensure that training programmes are tailored to match variations in organisational policies.
  • Require that organisational policies are reviewed and, if necessary, revised in light of what is learned during training sessions.
  • Reference should be made to this Code of Practice and should be accessible during training.

2. Team Teach will only provide training within the context of a holistic approach to behaviour supports and interventions. Other than in the most exceptional of circumstances and where a risk assessment warrants it, physical techniques should not be taught in isolation.

  • Those being provided with such an initial knowledge base will then need to attend a minimum of a Positive Behaviour Management Level One - 6 Hours course within the 60 working days (12 working weeks).
  • Positive handling strategies should be integrated into Care/ Education/ PSP plans, with the involvement of the concerned adult/ child.
  • Highlight need for behaviour policy if one is not in place or has not been reviewed.

2.1 The minimum training provided for course members to achieve a certificated level of competence will be a Positive Behaviour Management Level One - 6 Hour.

  • This course will, in addition to positive handling strategies, provide modules related to the topics described in point 2 (above).

2.2 Trainers are required to identify course participants who may require additional training as a result of any of the following:

  • Their working environment.
  • The characteristics of the children/ adults they work with.
  • Their own physical or psychological make-up

2.3 Training shall include:

  • Assessment of service users for any health condition which would place them at risk in the event that positive handling was used.
  • The Team Teach Health Guidance & Training Information leaflet must be distributed to course members at least two weeks before the course commences.
  • Team Teach Trainers are to state the difference between holding, guiding and restraining.
  • They should stress the importance of an agreed policy on contingent touch. What is and what is not acceptable within the specific service setting and where necessary individualised in the Team Teach plan.
  • How to monitor the individual’s physical well-being while positive handling strategies are employed.
  • Procedures for assessment of a service user following the use of positive handling. This is especially important when the incident has involved a ground holding strategy. See Team Teach Response & Responsibilities Workbook.
  • Provision of support/ de-briefing, following the use of positive handling for both the individual held, witnesses and staff concerned.
  • Systems in place for monitoring and evaluating incidents, with a named person responsible.
  • The service setting should carry out an analysis of positive handling strategies employed every 12 weeks. This should be reported back to a “responsible body “e.g. Governors/or Trustees/Management Body.

2.4 Training shall reflect the principles that any use of positive handling shall:

  • Employ force that is reasonable, proportionate and necessary in the circumstances.
  • Be used for the shortest period of time possible.
  • Be sanctioned for shortest period of time possible.

2.5 Training shall be tailored to meet the needs and abilities of:

  • The course participants (age, body weight, individual risk assessments).
  • The individuals who are likely to need positive handling.
  • The characteristics of the provider organisation, including its philosophy, mission statement and policy on the management of challenging behaviour.
  • Staffing levels should reflect the ability of the organisation to minimise risk where it is foreseeable.

3. Techniques for Positive Handling

3.1 Each course shall set out, in writing, a programme that indicates the positive handling techniques that are to be taught.

3.2 When the course commences, course members should receive:

  • The Team Teach Workbook that links the positive handling strategies to the holistic approach.

3.3 Training should be tailored and include techniques which are relevant and pertinent to the service setting concerned.

  • The techniques should provide a range of responses to allow the trainer with the flexibility to select the appropriate strategies and emphasis for the setting concerned.
  • Avoid procedures that sets out to deliberately inflict pain upon individuals in order to gain compliance and control.

3.4 In exceptional circumstances, personal safety techniques that result in discomfort may be deemed "reasonable, proportionate and necessary, for example, where a child/ adult holds a member of staff in a hair grab or bite in such a way as to cause extreme pain or serious injury.

  • Where a person has been assessed as posing extreme risks to carers or others, more advanced robust strategies may occasionally be required.

3.5 Advanced techniques to meet the specific needs of children/ adults shall only be taught in exceptional circumstances, where the trainer has clearly established:

  • The person's particular needs.
  • The behaviours which cause concern.
  • An explicit rationale for the use of individualised positive handling strategies.
  • These advanced strategies should only be taught by an Advanced Team Teach Trainer to individuals who have already received a Positive Behaviour Management Level Two - 12 Hour Team Teach programme.
  • Where such strategies are taught they should be designed to address specific behaviours presented by individual service users. They should only be introduced where there is clear risk assessment data-based evidence that other less intrusive/restrictive techniques have been considered and discounted.
  • Such procedures must be individually prescribed; time limited, subject to detailed recording and reviewed regular intervals after each application.

3.6 Other less restrictive positive handling strategies taught to any group of participants should be appropriate for responding to incidents that commonly occur in their workplace.

3.7 Training shall include:

  • How to avoid vulnerable parts of the body and potentially dangerous positions.
  • The use of gradients of control and support to implement the principles of reasonable force and minimum duration.
  • Consideration of age and gender of those requiring positive handling strategies.
  • Clear guidance on the importance of using each technique as taught and not attempting unsupervised modifications.

4. Health and Safety During Training

4.1 Those attending courses that include instruction on practical techniques, involving the use of restrictive positive handling, shall receive clear information regarding the physical requirements for course participants. A Health Guidance & Training Information leaflet shall be provided at least two weeks before the start of the course.

4.2 Trainers must remind course participants of their responsibilities in relation to:

  • Guarding against the risk of injury during training. Existing injuries that pose related health and or safety risks.
  • Their responsibility for their own safety and welfare during training.
  • Their responsibility for the safety and welfare of other course participants during training.

4.3 Anyone who is unsure of his/ her capacity to safely undertake training on positive handling techniques shall be offered assistance (employer’s responsibility).

To undertake a personal risk assessment by an experienced occupational therapist or similar professional.

4.4 The trainer shall have the right to exclude anyone whose suitability for training is in doubt.

4.5 Training shall take place in a safe and suitable environment with sufficient space (away from furniture etc.) and exercise mats of suitable quality and thickness.

Participants will be required to undertake warm up exercises to ensure that they are physically and psychologically prepared to engage in the training activities, for example role plays and practice routines.

4.6 Trainers must explain their policy on staff welfare during training and what procedures they adopt to minimise the risk of injury or emotional distress. Information concerning the following should be given by "Team Teach" trainers:

  • Stop Signal.
  • No unannounced movements.
  • No unsupervised practice during workshop sessions.
  • Emotional & Physical opt out.
  • Injuries & reporting procedures.
  • Clothing & appearance.
  • Co-operation not competition.
  • Training/ Dry run
  • Working within personal comfort zone.

4.7 Other than in exceptional circumstances, Team Teach employer trainers should not deliver training to new staff on their own.

  • Thus, a Team Teach Positive Behaviour Management Level One - 6 Hour/ Level Two - 12 Hour course can include up to 24 course participants and will require a minimum of two Intermediate Team Teach trainers. These ratios increase by one trainer to 12 participants. Beyond these numbers therefore, the ratios increase by, 25 participants will require three trainers, 37 will require four trainers and so on.
  • Advanced training (both Advanced Modules and Advanced Train-the-Trainer) will require a maximum of 8 course participants to two Advanced Trainers, then increasing by 8 participants to one Advanced Trainer. For example, an Advanced course for 17 participants will require three Advanced Trainers. Advanced courses should not go above 24 in number.

4.8 Intermediate trainers shall have access to a qualified first-aider and a first-aid kit to enable them to respond to injuries that might arise during training.

  • Trainers should also make arrangements for someone (other than the trainer) with appropriate first aid qualifications to be available during training sessions.
  • Trainers must know how to summon emergency services should a serious injury occur during a training session.
  • Advanced "Team Teach" trainers are required to hold the equivalent of a One Day Emergency at Work Certificate whilst delivering advanced training modules.

4.9 Team Teach trainers are responsible for ensuring that they, through their employer, are adequately covered with appropriate personal and professional indemnity insurance. Team Teach is recommending a minimum coverage of £5 million.

5. Course Organisation

5.1 In advance of the course participants and their managers will receive written programme information regarding: (click here to see our Positive Behaviour Management Level One – 6 Hour and Level Two - 12 Hour programmes).

  • The modules to be covered.
  • The time committed to each module.
  • The procedures (I.D.E.A.S) to be employed in teaching practical techniques (video presentations; demonstrations, role play should only be conducted by Team Teach trainers. Course participants should not be allowed to “act out” on Positive Behaviour Management Level One – 6 Hour and Level Two - 12 Hour course delivery. The number (nature / type) of positive handling techniques which will be taught.
  • Ground rules to ensure good order and maintain safety (See Team Teach Health Guidance & Training Information leaflet).

5.2 Trainers must make it clear that they have a duty to report the following to the appropriate authorities:

  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour (for example, inappropriate physical contact during practices.
  • Accounts of service users / staff being mistreated.
  • Poor performance relating to skills, knowledge or attitude required for the safe use of positive handling.

5.3 Courses will involve appropriate arrangements to ensure that managers, who are responsible for the workplace performance of course participants, are also instructed on the use of positive handling This training will ensure that managers provide appropriate support to their staff and by monitoring the use of positive handling, protect the interests of children/ adults and staff.

5.4 All training courses will be organised so that they provide all participants with appropriate opportunities to:

  • Learn and discuss the principles underlying the safe use of positive handling.
  • Explore their own attitudes to the use of reasonable force with adults/children.
  • Practise positive handling techniques under qualified supervision.

5.5 Team Teach training programmes will, through on-going trainer support, include:

  • A review of good practice in the use of positive handling, including nonverbal and verbal strategies.
  • Instruction in the use of selected positive handling techniques.
  • Follow-up sessions to provide opportunities for practice and skills consolidation.
  • An individualised approach to performance assessment.
  • Periodic follow up courses to identify issues arising in the workplace, for example; problems in application of newly acquired skills or changing circumstances.

5.6 Individuals looking to train in Team Teach should attend a minimum of the Intermediate Trainer course and this should be given to suitable applicants who have:

  • Satisfactorily completed a comprehensive introductory training course of no less than Positive Behaviour Management Level One - 6 Hour for mainstream and Level Two - 12 Hour for special.
  • Undertaken appropriate work-based experience involving the use of positive handling after having completed an introductory course.

5.7 Selection of those suitable to become trainers will be based upon competence in the following areas:

  • Attitudes towards adults and children with special needs and challenging behaviour and the use of reasonable force.
  • Knowledge of the principles underpinning good practice in the use of positive handling.
  • Skill in using a variety of positive handling techniques.
  • A commitment to develop and improve teaching skills.

5.8 Aspiring trainers must be assessed in a training context and demonstrate their competence as trainers.

5.9 All trainer courses will include at least one re-accreditation course of not less than two day's duration to take place within 15 months after the initial training course.

6. Monitoring Performance

6.1 The performance of each participant on each part of the course shall be systematically evaluated and recorded. This will include:

  • The attitudes of participants as reflected in their language and behaviour during the course.
  • The knowledge of each participant regarding the principles underpinning the safe use of positive handling.
  • The competence of each participant with respect to each practical technique.
  • The number (nature/type) of positive handling techniques which will be taught.
  • Ground rules to ensure good order and maintain safety. (See Team Teach Health Guidance & Training Information leaflet).

6.2 Certificates should be issued to all participants who achieve full attendance, demonstrate appropriate attitude, pass the quiz and are assessed as competent with regards to the core skill activities and techniques.

Competence is defined as the ability, within the training context, to perform a skill without being prompted by the trainers.

6.3 Participants' who do not complete the Intermediate Trainer course shall not be "qualified" to cascade training in positive handling strategies in their service setting / local authority/ employers’ organisation.

6.4 The employer’s organisation shall be provided with feedback (a training and summary evaluation report) on the performance of each course participant, including information on those who have completed and those who have not completed the course.

6.5 Participants who have not completed the course, and their managers, will receive feedback regarding:

  • Their identified areas for further development.
  • The action to be taken to improve and aid this development.

6.6 Employers are legally responsible for arranging refresher courses for their staff. Trainers should work in partnership with employers to facilitate reaccreditation courses and to ensure that staff skills are maintained at a level that is appropriate to their working environments. These courses should be within the minimum recommended time and content standards set by Team Teach.

6.7 Team Teach will:

  • Maintain a record of trainers who are permitted to use the organisation's name, or to offer a type of training promoted by the organisation.
  • Provide opportunities for instructors to maintain and update their knowledge and skills. Instructors can access information via the Team Teach website on

7. Evaluating and Record Keeping

7.1 For each Team Teach course a complete record shall be maintained which includes:

  • The nature of the course (topics, duration, trainer, etc.).
  • The organisation purchasing training.
  • Name and work address of course participants and their employer organisation.
  • Information regarding participants who have satisfactorily completed the course and those who have not.
  • Action taken in respect of those participants who failed to demonstrate competence (“completed the movements required without prompting”).
  • Occurrence of all injuries and 'near misses' during the training.
  • Arrangements for follow-up support/ training when follow up / support training occurs.
  • Which members of the original course attended follow up/ support training.

7.2 Team Teach shall maintain records regarding:

  • The trainers who are currently recognised as qualified to provide training.
  • The standards against which the competence of trainers is measured.
  • The procedures employed to ensure trainers continue to meet these standards. The courses which have been provided by each trainer.

7.3 The “in-house” trainer must keep:

  • A register of course members and their level of participation. A log record documenting their courses delivered.
  • This should be made available at the reaccreditation course.
  • Any injuries to staff or service users which come to light (for example, when follow-up support is requested) following a training course.

8. Professional Conduct

8.1 Team Teach undertakes to maintain high standards of professional conduct. This involves:

  • Training staff to work in the best interests of children/ adults and staff.
  • Adherence of a set of core values and to the Code of Practice set out in this document and the accompanying trainer Protocols.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of and respect for the law as it relates to the rights of service users with special needs and challenging behaviour and the duty of service providers.
  • Only undertaking training for which they have appropriate experience, qualifications (should be within the permitted boundaries of their certification and expertise).
  • Working with other trainers and the relevant statutory and voluntary bodies to improve knowledge and promote best practice.
  • Working within the ICM accreditation scheme.
  • Providing support to other trainers.
  • Providing independent and objective expert advice to outside bodies including the courts and Local Safeguarding Designated Officers.
  • Ensuring that all public announcements, including advertising, are accurate and are not likely to misinterpretation with respect to the type of training provided, its content, quality or likely impact on children/ adults or staff.

This Team Teach Code of Practice aims to work within the good practice principles established in the nationally accreditation scheme of ICM.

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