Should We Be Running Physical Intervention Training Courses

Below the video is some correspondence that I have received from someone regarding running restraint (pmva) training courses during this covid19 pandemic. My response to that is below their communication and directly below is a video because this is so important. 

please share this and let’s protect the NHS and stop the spread of this virus that is killing people daily!

“Hi Mark

I am hoping that you can help me here please

My healthcare client is requesting staff from us but insisting that despite the current situation they will not take anyone who has not received physical intervention training.

Obviously as a trainer I am more than reluctant to conduct a session at present given the spread of covid 19.

Where would we stand on this?

Surely under the government’s current guidelines physical contact training should not be taking place? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

[Name withheld]”

My Reply

Hi Xxxxxxxx

Good to hear from you and with regards to your question, please note the following:

The Law Has Not Been Suspended

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the various supporting statutory Regulations are what all organisations need to comply with, and (as far as I am aware) the ‘Law’ has not been suspended, revised or redacted.

As such, every organisation has a legal duty of care to it’s staff and those that use it’s services, and that duty of care cannot be diluted or contracted out and if staff are being placed in situations of risk without the correct training, information, ppe, etc., then the organisation would be liable. That is the law.

What About Being Asked To Sign a ‘Disclaimer’?

For example, I have just heard that some organisations are allegedly asking their staff to sign ‘disclaimers’ to attend physical intervention training sessions in an apparent attempt to reduce the organisations liability.

However, the fact is that you cannot legislate for negligence and what that means is that you cannot sign away (by means of a contract) the legal duty of care owed by any organisation to it’s staff and to others.

However, the challenge every organisation is facing with the current pandemic, is how do they train staff in areas that require staff to physical restrain someone, and the key to the answer would lie in the risk assessment for the activity of physical restraint.

And if you would like a Free Covid-19 and Restraint Risk Assessment then go to this link –

There is also a video there that is worth watching.

Extension Certificates For Staff Who Have Had Previous Training

One option is if any staff have had physical intervention training in the past but are out of date (due to refreshers being cancelled in the current pandemic situation in line with Government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation), is to extend their certificate by 12 weeks in line with the Government guidance period for social distancing and self-isolation (but that should be done on a case by case basis) and ideally backed up with some online resources (instructional videos etc) and possible online instruction.

This can be done on the basis of an individual’s CPD (Continual Professional Development) record over the past year (or whatever time period you wish) with a declaration from the individual that they are happy to continue using physical intervention until a formal refresher can be re-arranged on the basis of their CPD record and that they feel that they are competent in the skills taught to them. Then that can be counter-signed by their line manager or whoever is responsible saying that they are also happy for their member of staff to have an extension certificate provided to them and for them to continue using the skills taught to them until a formal refresher course can be arranged.

We have actually already addressed this and we have also set up and offered some clients online breakaway training combined with training in what their legal rights are so they are aware of what they can and can’t do legally.

Independent Expert Witness Report, Advice, Guidance and Support

Obviously staff and management are concerned about their liability and where they stand if any allegations are made against the staff who restrain someone, so in addition to everything else, I have also offered to review any physical intervention incidents that the organisation may be concerned about from an expert witness perspective (looking at any statements, cctv footage, etc.) and provide a report on the incident with any recommendations and online support, de-brief and any additional coaching, training and mentoring for staff involved to address any issues.  

Options For Staff Who Have NOT Had Any Previous Training

If staff have never done any physical intervention training before then it is (in the current climate) virtually impossible for them to be trained and every responsible training provider I know has stopped all face to face contact training.

I hope that helps clarify the situation for you and again, if you would like a copy of the Free Covid-19 and Restraint Risk Assessment you can access that from here –

Other blog posts of similar interest can be found here –

NFPS Level 3 Risk Assessment Course

And if you are interested in doing a Level 3 RIsk Assessment Course then please check out our course here –

Best Regards

Mark Dawes