NHS Managing Challenging Behaviour Course

Course outline

This course is aimed at staff who come into contact with, or work with individuals who present behaviours that may be perceived to be concerning, challenging or distressed.

The principle focus will be to prevent or reduce the likelihood of situations developing whilst maintaining a safe and supportive service. The course will also go on to examine how to respond safely, effectively and lawfully to those situations, which despite staff’s best endeavours, escalate. It will include some physical skills that may be used as a last resort.

Suggested attendees

All frontline NHS staff whose work brings them into direct contact with patients and members of the public – under legislation it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that individuals and roles are risk-assessed in relation to violence and aggression.

Managing challenging behaviour training is aimed at all staff where a higher level of risk occurs, and it is safer for the service user to be held or moved to a position of safety including:

  • Care of the elderly staff
  • Theatre Teams
  • Paediatric Teams
  • Portering Staff
  • Security Teams
  • Site Managers/Ward Managers

Course content


Exploring behaviours that challenge

  • Staff experiences and challenges
  • Identifying changes
  • Triggers to behaviour
  • Assessing risks

De-escalation and prevention skills

  • Attitude and behaviour model
  • Listening model to defuse
  • De-escalation strategies

Legal rights and responsibilities

  • Policies and procedures
  • Legal framework to support decision making

Incident reporting and support 

  • Documentation and systems
  • Post-incident procedures
  • Options for support


Distance, stance and positioning

  • Positive body language
  • Reactionary gap

Relocation and distraction

  • Balance displacement techniques
  • Safe moving/relocation of an individual to a safe location

Restrictive interventions

  • Clinical holding vs Restraint
  • Standing, supine and seated restrictive interventions

Medical implications of techniques

  • Identifying medical implications of restrictive interventions
  • Positional asphyxia

By the end of this course your team will be able to:

  • Recognise the triggers to an individual’s behaviour
  • Understand the importance of a person centred and rights-based approach
  • De-escalate using excellent communication skills
  • Understand the law and how it relates to challenging behaviour and physical skills
  • Demonstrate physical skills to keep yourself and individuals safe

At the end of this course your team will receive:

  • A certificate of attendance
  • Access to a dedicated delegate resource area via IKON Academy
  • Duration 6 hours

  • Delegates 12 Max

Delivery methods


Many of our courses, especially those with physical skills, can be delivered in a face-to-face in-person training environment, either at your venue or ours.

Train the

IKON’s train the trainer service enables your team to deliver empowering motivational and insightful training that builds confidence and trust with their colleagues.

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    • ... the professionalism, the experience and the knowledge shown by IKON Training was first class. They understood our needs and promptly developed a programme of training which we rolled out to over 120 hospital-based staff.

      Colchester Provide CIC

    • I have worked in the NHS for over 20 years and this was hands down the best conflict resolution training I have had. Thank you.

      King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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