A veteran paramedic ambulance worker who was assaulted by a 14 year-old was awarded £49,000 by an industrial tribunal after he was wrongfully dismissed for gross misconduct by his employer for allegedly assaulting a 14 year old who had attacked him. In August 2021 Mr Edwards, a senior paramedic with 18 years service was attending a call. It involved a 14 year old patient who was reported to have consumed an excessive amount of alcohol. Whilst securing a patient to a trolley, Peter Edwards was struck on the nose and upper lip. This caused Mr Edwards to have a “instantaneous reflex reaction” to protect himself from being further assaulted by the patient. And it was on this basis that Mr Edwards was suspended and subsequently dismissed from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust for allegedly assaulting the patient. What Can We Learn From This Case? What this case (and other similar cases) prove is that you cannot remove a person’s legal rights to self-defence in the workplace. In short, as one senior judge put it: “You can’t put up a wall and stop the law from coming in”. But If We Use Certain Techniques We Will Lose Our Certification/Accreditation Certain physical intervention certification schemes dictate that you can’t use certain techniques. And if you do they will revoke your certification. The problem here is that some agencies are being held to ransom. Because the regulators ‘like’ certain certifications they expect organisations to have them. But here in lies another problem in itself. CQC, Ofsted and the SIA (Security Industry Authority) are not supposed to ‘signpost’ or ‘recommend’ any one system over another. And we have FOI (Freedom of Information) responses that evidence that fact. But, because many agencies are too scared to challenge or ‘upset’ the regulators, they simply roll over and only use certain certificated systems. This is the link to the article – https://bit.ly/3BZ734j The Other Problem Within The Problem And this creates another problem for the commissioning agency. Whatever system the organisations chooses to adopt, they become liable for. So Here’s The Perverse Dichotomy. A regulator who is evidently not competent in giving advice or recommendations and who will be acting outside of their scope of competency, ‘recommends’ or ‘suggests’ that an organisation should be using ‘X’ system. The organisation, not wanting to upset the regulator, stops using a perfectly good and fit for purpose system and replaces it with another, possibly not so good, limited and prescriptive system, just to appease the regulator. Then the s*** hits the fan. Someone gets hurt or dies. Who do you think is held to account? The regulator or the organisation who acted on the regulators ‘recommendation’? Answer – the organisation. Why, because the organisation is ultimately liable for the training it commissions. I’m Your Driving Instructor, But I Don’t Hold a Driving License Imagine that you turned up to take your driving test at a test centre. You have had six months of driving lessons and you have studied the highway code. You are ready to go. In jumps your driving examiner. “Hi, I’m your driving examiner for today and I’ll be assessing you on your ability to drive and decide whether or not you will pass your driving test today. Oh, one thing, I don’t hold a driving license and I’ve never passed my driving test myself”. Would you put your trust in that person’s ability to assess you competently? Of course not. You’d ask for a properly qualified driving examiner. This is Your Captain Speaking And Welcome Onboard Flight 123. Imagine boarding an aircraft to fly to some far off distant land for you holiday. You get to your seat, and then your hear the following announcement. “This is your Captain speaking. I’ll be in flying you today and I wish you a pleasant flight. Oh, one thing I should mention, I don’t fly myself. In fact I’m not a pilot at all but I’ll be making recommendations and suggestions to the person holding the flying controls who, by the way, has limited experience, if any at all, of flying any type of aircraft.” Well I don’t know about you but I’d be the first one off that aircraft. This is Happening Now In Our Industry The scary part of the above two examples is that this is actually happening in our industry. We have unqualified and incompetent people dictating what systems agencies should use. The unqualified and incompetent people are dictating what techniques can or cannot be used. And none of this is based on any legal basis or any formal risk assessment. It’s purely based on the opinion of a minority or well-meaning but misguided people. But it will be you who will pay the cost. The Court Isn’t Interested In What ‘System’ You Use I’ve done hundreds of criminal court cases as an expert witness on the use of force. In every criminal court case the court has never been concerned about what ‘system’ is used or what ‘certification’ is held. The court is only concerned with whether or not the force used was reasonable. I’ve also done hundreds of civil court cases. Guess what. In every civil court case the court has never been concerned about what ‘system’ is used or what ‘certification’ is held. It is only concerned with whether or not the individuals duty of care has been breached by an act or omission of the organisation. I’ve also been involved in industrial tribunals. No surprise here. In an industrial tribunal the chair of the tribunal isn’t interested in what ‘system’ is used or what ‘certification’ is held. It is only concerned with whether or not the disciplinary action and/or subsequent dismissal was wrongful or not based on the claimants legal and human rights. “The safety of our patients is a top priority and every allegation against staff member around professional conduct is investigated thoroughly.” According to the article a spokesperson for the Trust stated that “the safety of our patients is a top priority and every allegation against staff member around professional conduct is investigated thoroughly.’ But that statement isn’t true. If it was they wouldn’t have suspended and subsequently dismissed Mr Edwards from the Trust for allegedly assaulting the patient. Other Training System Are Limited By Design Most all other training systems are limited by what the offer, because from time to time situations will arise that couldn’t have been foreseen, which will require a member of staff to act on their own initiative. And this is where a lot of training courses fail. They fail because they are too prescriptive (i.e., you can only use the techniques taught, you can’t use any techniques that may cause discomfort, harm or pain, etc). And that can end up with someone being disciplined for possibly not doing any wrong (ie. acting reasonably in the circumstances) but simply because they didn’t stick to the limitations of the agreed training programme. I’ve been involved with a number of cases where this has happened. In cases similar to this one, the employer who disciplined and dismissed staff, has also lost at industrial tribunals and had to pay a hefty fine. So, if a trainer, manager or any certification/accreditation system ever tells you that you can only use what you have been taught, they are not only sadly mistaken, they are giving you illegal advice! What The Law Provides The law allows all law-abiding citizens to use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances as they honestly believe them to be. Therefore, the training manual is of guidance only and the training course can only be based on what is ‘reasonably foreseeable’. What the law requires is that employers plan for the extremes of behaviour which staff may be expected to manage and provide training that includes techniques that can manage such behaviour effectively, whilst also providing them with the judgement, skill and knowledge to be able to deal with situations that are exceptional, ie; that cannot be planned for, by allowing staff the ability to use reasonable force. This is why it is imperative that staff are trained to a competent standard, understanding what reasonable force means so that they can use their judgement, discretion and skill when presented with situations that can’t be planned for. This Is Where We Are Different From The Rest Our training has a very in-depth legal component to it, possibly more so than any other physical intervention and self-defence training course of its kind anywhere else in the UK. We train and assess those we train on the law in relation to reasonable force to a competent standard so that they can go away and teach those they teach to know what the law actually allows. We also support our trainers post course too, in numerous ways. One thing we offer is that if someone is challenged with using force, we will independently review the incident and provide a report based on whether or not what the individual did was reasonable in the circumstances. This can save you a lot of wasted time and effort. I say this because I have personally been involved as an expert witness on the use of force in writing hundreds of reports for court on the use of force as well as providing expertise to the court and the jury in civil and criminal trials as well as in industrial tribunals. Sadly, many managers who investigate a workplace use of force incident do not have the depth and breadth of knowledge in this area, so any report or investigation is likely to be flawed. This then leaves the organisation, and the management open to liability (as in the cases where an employee has taken them to an industrial tribunal as mentioned earlier on). Why Should You Seriously Consider Training With Us? One of the major reasons why you should seriously consider training with us is that you will become a nationally recognised qualified Conflict Management, Physical Intervention and/or Breakaway and Self-Defence trainer. Also, if you are already a qualified conflict management, physical intervention and/or breakaway and self-defence trainer, our BTEC Trainer Award courses are not only great CPD (continual professional development) for you, but they’ll get you a unique BTEC Level 3 Award qualification too. However, the main reason you should train with us is that we will give you 100% legally correct advice along with all of the other additional benefits that you will see as you read on! So, if you are an employer reading this just consider for a moment how much time and money we can save you ……… whilst also keeping your staff and service users safe?
BTEC Educational Training QualificationsOur training is quality assured and will provide you with the legal, medical and duty-of-care comprehension related to supporting and managing people whilst maintaining the highest of standards. If you have a passion and desire to support people and want to formally take your professional knowledge the next level and receive a training qualification to teach others, this course is the only course for you. You may already be a qualified trainer seeking to up-skill your knowledge and understanding by taking one or more of the additional qualifications we offer (see what additional awards you can take further down the page). Legally Defensible and Medically Reviewed Courses That Support You Our programmes have undergone a robust medical review and are legally defensible. Furthermore, following your course with us we remain on-hand to provide you with any support, advise or guidance you may need (as previously discussed). Read on to learn more about courses taking place during September 2023
BTEC Level 3 Restraint Instructor Award CourseNow, the first course is our BTEC Level 3 Restraint Instructor Award Course, and that’s running between the 4th to 8th of September. It’s a five-day residential course, and all of your food, refreshments and accommodation for the full duration of the course are included in your investment. Therefore, you don’t have to pay for any hotels, or any food or meals, or anything else, so it’s a great deal. The other benefit of this course is you can take additional awards on this course as well. You can take the following Awards:
- The BTEC Level 3 Award in The Delivery of Conflict Management Training;
- The BTEC Level 3 Education and Training Award (an entry level teaching qualification).
- The BTEC Level 3 Deliverers of Physical Intervention To The Private Security Industry Award (if you are looking to deliver physical intervention on the door supervisors license to practice award course;
- BTEC Level 3 Handcuff Instructor Award qualification;
- BTEC Level 3 Award in Self-Defence Instruction;
The Benefits To YouThe benefits to you of doing this is:
- a) It reduces your training costs;
- b) You haven’t got to rely on organising dates with an external training provider;
- c) It’s much more flexible because you can run training whenever you wish to do so;
- d) Our course is possibly the most legally defensible course out there.
- e) It is full risk assessed and medically reviewed.
- f) We provide all of the resources you/your trainers need to deliver training the minute they leave the course …… at no additional cost!
- g) We provide lots of ongoing post course support and assistance long after the training has finished too …… at no additional cost!
- h) If there is a challenge we are on hand to help/support and advise you too …… again at no additional cost!
- i) And all this saves you a lot of time, money and distress too!