What is The Difference Between Control and Restraint, PMVA, MVA, Positive Handling, Physical Restraint, Physical Intervention and Care and Control Training?

Hey everybody, Mark Dawes here and one of the questions I get asked quite a lot is what is the difference between control and restraint training, physical restraint training, physical intervention training, PMVA training, MVA training, positive handling and so on and so forth.

Well, the bottom baseline answer is, is there is no difference. It’s basically semantics. Now to give you a bit of history on this and this is not a chronological history lesson so I’m not gonna be correct with the actual timeline here.

But basically in the 1980’s the prison service developed a system of control and restraint training.

And then the 1990s or roughly around that area that went into special hospitals because special hospitals like Rampton, Ashworth and Broadmoor said, look we could do with some of this because we deal with people who are criminally insane.

Then what happened was the NHS said, we could actually do with some of this as well. So some of that training was taken into the NHS and there was a system developed for the NHS.

And then schools came on board and care homes came on board. And then you have people basically saying, well we actually don’t like the words control and restraint. So positive handling was the words used in schools and then you had care and control used in care homes.

There were many, many derivatives of this out there. So you can pick and chose whichever one you want.

Then different companies came on the scene and each company had its own slant on what it was doing and would try to think of its own name for the type of training delivered.

But at the end of the day here’s the basic thing, when it goes to court what the court is interested in is did we use physical force to deprive someone of their liberty? If we did that, that is a restraint. It is a restriction of liberty.

So you can call it what you like. You can say we don’t use control and restraint, we use positive handling.

Okay, right when you train people in positive handling, do you train them to physically control someone? To take control of someone who may be for example, out of control, who’s a risk of harm to themselves or others or causing serious damage to property? And are you depriving them of their liberty by not allowing them to do what they want to do? If the answer to that is yes, that is a restriction of liberty. It’s a restraint.

Okay let’s look at MVA training or PMVA training. Same thing.

When you train people mainly in healthcare, in MVA or PMVA training, are you training them to physically take control of a person who’s out of control? To stop harming themselves, others or causing serious damage or harm to property? If the answer to that is yes, then when you physically use force to do that, you are restricting their liberty and therefore you have affected a restraint.

So it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s all the same thing.

And as I said before it was purely, really the whole thing to do around the name. You know what people preferred to be called.

Sadly today, there are still some academics who say, we don’t like control and restraint for various reasons, but we like positive handling. It’s exactly the same thing.

Now having said all of that different programmes by different organisations will have different elements of different aspects in them. Some will do more theory on de-escalation than others. Some will do more on the theory on the legal side than others. And the reason this exists or is allowed to exist is that there’s no national standard.

And I know for years people have been banging on about getting a national standard. But to be perfectly honest with you, would it work?

Because at the end of the day whichever committee they actually get together to produce this national standard. That national standard will be based around the average mean capabilities of that committee.

And at the end of day, if you look at all the legislation including health and safety legislation, then it is the responsibility of the commissioning agency and the care home, the hospital, the school whoever that is; to make sure that the training that they provide for their staff, from whoever their provider is, is fit for purpose.

So if it needs elements of de-escalation there, elements of conflict resolution in there, elements of holding in there, breakaway, disengagement in there, physical restraint in there. Then you need to put that package together to fit the needs of the client/service user and staff group.

So I hope that clears a few things up.

Any questions leave me a comment below.

To find out more about our next BTEC Level 3 Physical Restraint Instructor Award Course go to – www.nfps.info/physical-intervention-trainer-course/

Thanks ever so much.