In 2017 Dynamis became a Quality Award Centre with the Institute of Conflict Management (QAC#2201) which provides independently-assessed evidence to clients of our high quality assurance standards through a rigorous assessment process as follows:

  • A record of the organisation/individuals details and background including core activities and corporate structure
  • Evidence of the organisation/individuals approach to risk assessmentand training needs analysis
  • Examples of programme development and design and their training rationale
  • Examples of course administration/documentation
  • Copy of their Health & Safety policy
  • Quality Assurance Policy
  • Examples of material used to support learners
  • Details of their procedures for providing an appropriate learning environment including health & safety issues surrounding the venue
  • A policy for undertaking occupational health checks for learnersinvolved in physical skills training
  • Evidence and record of it’s trainers existing training qualifications and experience and CPD records
  • Copies of insurance details
  • First aid policy and arrangements
  • Details of administration and certification process (Data-protection Act)
  • Confirmation of their adherence to the ICM Code of Practice

Gerard O’Dea, our Director of Training, also holds the ICM Physical Skills Tutor Award (ICM L324 # 5488T) which provides independent quality assurance, evidence, verification and recognition of the award holders’ expertise, knowledge and qualifications in physical skills tuition.



Who is Dynamis?

FAQ:   Dynamis is a specialist team of highly qualified and experienced positive handling educators (see About Us) who bring enthusiasm and talent to their training sessions. In our Positive Handling sessions we primarily work with teachers, teaching assistants, Learning Support Assistants, SENCOs, Behaviour Support specialists and our advice covers issues in ‘mainstream’ and in SEN settings.

Our training team is very experienced and all carry several accredited certifications which have been awarded by OFQUAL-recognised awarding bodies and are therefore nationally recognised qualifications which have been independently assessed.

The following qualifications are common across the trainers in our team:

  • BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Delivery of Conflict Management Training
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Physical Restraint Practice 
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Coaching & Instruction of Physical Restraint
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction

Those are important criteria:   Nationally recognised accreditations by OFQUAL awarding bodies which are therefore independently assessed.  With respect, it would surprise us to know that individual tutors or instructors from local authorities can show broad, deep and extensive qualifications at this level.   

Furthermore, because of our experience of delivering BTEC Level 2 Awards (practitioner courses) in Physical Intervention and Restraint (accredited by nationally-recognised OFQUAL awarding body Edexcel/Pearson) since 2006, then I believe that we potentially have at least equal if not better experience than Team Teach-“qualified” tutors in delivering structured courses, with clear Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria to national awarding-body criteria.

Our feedback speaks for itself. With a reputation for being pragmatic and with a great deal of empathy for staff, management and pupils, we endeavour to clarify the issues relating to behaviour management, de-escalation and distress, with excellent results.  Once these issues are clarified, often with reference to evidence-based sources, legal standards or national level guidance, we do our very best to help teaching staff to balance the complex issues involved so that they can provide a safe and secure educational setting for their pupils.

We are always inspired when the attitudes and methodology we use brings clarity to the problems of duty-of-care and conflict faced in education settings. Our aim is that the training we provide is accessible and effective for every school who needs it – and that we consistently exceed staff and SLT expectations in delivering their desired outcomes.

For more information about the wider work we do at Dynamis please visit www.dynamis.training

Is Dynamis training accredited?

This training leans heavily on nationally-recognised awarding-body course learning outcomes and assessment criteria which are on the QCF framework accredited by Ofqual.   However, it is important to note that the most important element of due-diligence in commissioning training is that your specific needs are matched to the learning outcomes of a given course of training.  Before working with you, we will assist with your training needs analysis.

Wherever possible, we will map your training needs to the Ofqual units pertaining to this area of work-related vocational qualification:

Ofqual Unit H/502/5976 : Law and Risks of Physical Intervention When Working with Young People and Vulnerable Adults  >> register.ofqual.gov.uk/Unit/Details/H_502_5976

Ofqual Unit K/502/5977 : Disengagement and Non-restrictive Physical Intervention Methods >> register.ofqual.gov.uk/Unit/Details/K_502_5977

Our instructors hold adult accredited teaching qualifications (PTLLS or equivalent) and are certified, fully insured physical interventions and violence risk-management professionals.


  • BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Delivery of Conflict Management Training
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Physical Restraint Practice 
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Coaching & Instruction of Physical Restraint
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction

*EACH of our trainers holds this list of qualifications as a minimum.

A full day of training with our programme offers adequate time for staff to discuss key issues, baseline their approach and practice the intervention procedures to a practitioner standard.  It also allows staff to work through specific scenarios relating to the layout of their school, the facilities available for containment and the specific behaviours presented by individual pupils.

Schools who have booked this training with us often have experience with training approaches such as team-teach, mapa, calm, tci and other BILD-accredited providers in the past and report very positively about the benefits and differentiating positive elements of our approach.  We will address the issues of the BILD accreditation scheme with you on our course and explore it with reference to statute, common and human rights law.

We refer you to the following works by NFPS Ltd to clarify some key issues about accreditation and competency. OFSTED and Physical Interventions BILD and Physical Interventions

Where does Dynamis deliver training?

We deliver our courses all over the united Kingdom and internationally.

In just one recent year we delivered our training at schools in:

  • Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Derby
  • Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Hampshire, Kent
  • Leeds, London (N4, E17, EN4, SE7 and more…)
  • Norwich, Nottinghamshire, Preston, Portsmouth
  • East Sussex, Surrey, West Midlands, Wilthsire, Yorkshire

We deliver training which is always tailored to the specific nature of the school in: Primary Mainstream schools, SEN, Secondary Schools, Assessment Units, PRUs, Respite Centres, After-School Clubs and Care Homes for Children in Local Authority Care. Our clients have included MENCAP and Barnardos residential and day-care units.

We have a small but well-dispersed training team and endeavour to keep our travel time, and therefore your travel costs, to a minimum.

We charge mileage for our travel costs.   Where our trainers have to travel more than 2 hours to get to you, we may ask that they can stay overnight nearby the night before at a Premier Inn, Travelodge or similar and therefore be fresh when they deliver your training course!

What is the background and development of Dynamis training?

Our methodology is based on a highly popular and successful training methodology promoted by the National Federation for Personal Safety (NFPS), a respected and active organisation within the Physical Intervention community in the UK.

Following an approach which is firmly rooted in legislation, case-law and where relevant the guidance from national-level government agencies (the Department of Health and the Department for Education in particular), our training courses provide schools with robust advice.  Our decision-making framework is designed to help staff plan for, perform within and then achieve effective closure with any physical intervention (positive handling) interaction.

NFPS was the first organisation in the world to approach an educational awarding body (Edexcel, now Pearson) to fully accredit their Physical Intervention training system.   This was achieved in large part because of the level of legal due-dilligence carried out by NFPS in formulating this now fully-accredited system of interventions. Dynamis has been delivering training in physical interventions in social, healthcare and educational settings based on this methodology since 2006.

We have trained thousands of staff in this time and continue to develop and improve both our training delivery and the core material we deliver, in order to most efficiently give staff the skills they require.  Our feedback speaks of pragmatic, effective and functional skills which are appropriate and relevant to the setting we present them within.

Here is a selection of our Director of Training, Gerard O’Dea’s accredited qualifications, all but the last have been awarded by OFQUAL-recognised awarding bodies and are nationally recognised qualifications which are independently assessed:

  • Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases) Cardiff University Law School / Bond Solon
  • BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
  • BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Safer Handling of People (RoSPA)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Delivery of Conflict Management Training
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Physical Restraint Practice 
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Coaching & Instruction of Physical Restraint
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Safe and Effective use of Restraint Devices
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Safe and Effective use of the Emergency Response Belt
  • Certified Instructor for Verbal Defence and Influence and European Adviser

Your training will come from an Accredited Source – our trainers all have qualifications to provide instruction, training, advice and guidance in this subject area.

Furthermore, we have experience of delivering BTEC Level 2 Awards (practitioner courses) in Physical Intervention and Restraint (accredited by nationally-recognised OFQUAL awarding body Edexcel/Pearson) since 2006.

Stuck for time or need urgent training?

We can also provide your school with short-format informational courses which deliver essential information which teams who have low exposure to risk may find adequate for their services. 1-hour Briefing format or 3-hour Short Course format cover essential principles. Only limited physical holding skills are taught or demonstrated. Click to see more information about our 3-hour Short Courses in Positive Handling or  1-Hour Briefings in Positive Handling Alternatively where the risk and forgeability, frequency or severity of incidents is greater, then longer courses are advisable. Click to see more information about our 2 DAY and 3 DAY  long ‘Care and Control’ courses for special environments.

Please Call our Office on 0844 812 9795 to find out more about these courses, or email our team for a response.

What is the legal basis for physical interventions with children in schools?

Our advice and guidance is based on:

2012 most-recent Department of Education “Reasonable Force with Pupils” guidance Use of Reasonable Force – Advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies

2002 core guidance from the Department of Health Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Staff working with Children and Adults who Display Extreme Behaviour in Association with Learning Disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders

In addition we teach within the common law and statute law, national standards and guidance within and around the following:

  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Education and Inspections Act 2006
  • Criminal Law Act 1967
  • Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2007
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1998
  • Manual Handling Regulations 1992 (2002)

In addition to this we are specialists in the psychological and physiological effects of high-stakes confrontations, thereby giving us a unique insight into how holding skills must be designed to ensure that they are effective, appropriate and relevant for the client setting in which they may be used.

Why not watch an introductory video about this?

What are Dynamis core values for this training?

We believe that the core material in any course should be driven by values.  Here are our FIVE MAXIMS, from the Verbal Defense and Influence programme which is at the heart of our methodology.

We treat every child with dignity and show them respect, even in their worst moments.


  1. We ask, we don’t tell the child to do what we would prefer them to do.
  2. We explain why and offer context so the child understands our requests.
  3. We provide options, not threats, when faced with resistance.
  4. We always offer a second chance when the child’s choices may produce negative consequences

Watch this short video about our Five Maxims:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcIwK_iu8YM


  • physical intervention can not be used as a punishment or convenience
  • physical intervention must be the absolute last resort in any situation
  • those who use physical interventions must adhere to the legal rules on their use
  • an understanding of risk management and duty of care will create the most balances decisions
  • knowledge about the risks of sudden death during restraint is fundamental to safety
  • skills development should focus on the abilities of staff and good learning/performance/retention principles
  • any intervention should only cause the minimum necessary psychological and physiological intrusion into the life of the child.
What is Dynamis approach to de-escalation and behaviour management?

You can read about our Conflict Management training courses using the link.

Dynamis trainers seek to encourage staff to understand that physical interventions and any positive handling strategy must be the absolute last resort in managing any challenging behaviour from children. In addition to this, we believe that staff must continue to use the best perspective possible for understanding these behaviours, which is the internal reference frame of the child themselves.

“The term challenging behaviour is used to emphasise the fact that the issue is a challenge to those who provide services, and to the rest of society, not just a problem carried around by the individual.  The challenge is ours to provide effective ways of helping people to behave and express themselves in ways which are acceptable to Society”.      Blunden and Allen (1987)

It is centrally important that staff begin to think in terms of triggers – both overt and subtle – which trigger certain behaviours in the children they are working with.  This is especially important in mainstream schools where practice in looking for and identifying triggers will be perhaps not as well-excercised as in contexts where learning disability is very prevalent. Often, finding the triggers and zero-ing in on them is a critical task within the management of any risky behaviour.

“It is not absolutely essential to know the reason for the behaviour in order to begin dealing with it.  It is possible to short-cut the process simply because…all reasons have a tendency to surface as behaviours in one or two broad categories: 1) Task (or situation) avoidance and 2) Attention Seeking..both task or situation avoidance and attention seeking are essentially about the learner’s attempts to control ”          Turning the Tables on Challenging Behaviour, Peter Imray

We base our discussions of these triggers on a thorough understanding of the Kaplan-Wheeler Model of Emotional Arousal, overlaid with modern findings about how brain function changes during high-stress moments, including perceptual distortion and a narrowing of attention. Essentially, where behaviours become extreme and potentially harmful, we need to talk about stress, specifically survival-level stress.

“there is no such thing as an autisitic behaviour – there are only things that people with autism really enjoy doing or that are really important to them, or things they do when they are really under stress.  If there is one thing we must always hold in our minds it is that autism is a condition of almost permanent stress and our role is largely to reduce that stress!”   Turning the Tables on Challenging Behaviour, Peter Imray

Furthermore, in analysing the causes of or remedies for interpersonal or social issues of conflict, we heavily utilise the well-evidenced and useful SCARF model from David Rock, which describes powerful influencers of behaviour for every person as follows:

  • People seek to achieve and maintain status within a hierarchy of those around us
  • People seek to attain certainty and stability in our environment and circumstances
  • People enjoy and guard our level of control and decision independence
  • People are more comfortable around people with whom we share empathy
  • People have an acute sense of whether we are being treated fairly and equally

Where the cause of any aggressive behaviour is not due to pain, delirium, medication or ill-health, then the cause of the conflict between people can usually be found within this simple model.

On our Conflict Management-specific courses for managing behaviour without the use of physical restraint, we teach our 10 concepts:


Your staff will explore and practice the following concepts:
✔ Be Alert & Decisive / Respond, Don’t React – How to maintain awareness, control distance and positioning to keep everyone safe
✔ Five Maxims – How to show people respect in order to maintain their dignity and gain their cooperation
✔ Showtime Mindset – How to develop and maintain your professional detachment in conflict situations
✔ Universal Greeting – How to present the best possible initial contact, fostering non-escalation reducing the need for de-escalation.
 Beyond Active Listening – How to see through eyes of the other person in order to find out how to manage them
✔ Redirection – How to manage questions, anger, and abusive language
✔ Persuasion Sequence – How to generate voluntary compliance, cooperation, and compliance
✔ When Words Alone Fail – When and how to take appropriate action when words alone fail
✔ Bystander Mobilization – How to create a social contract that is incompatible with violence
✔ Review & Report – How to debrief incidents to improve future performance and explain your response
Here is a short video about these 10 concepts:
Can I see some examples of your behaviour and conflict approach?

3-minute overview of the 10 Communicating Under Pressure Concepts

25-minute overview of the 10 Communicating Under Pressure Conflict Management Concepts:

How physically demanding is Dynamis training in interventions?

Our training is designed to be used by the average person who works in a school setting and which are appropriate and effective for that setting. As such we teach:

  1. A small subset of approved holding techniques which can be used either standing, sitting or kneeling with the child.
  2. A method which can be easily assimilated during our course and which has a resilient shelf-life until refresher training occurs.
  3. Non Harmful Methods of Control from the NFPS manual of restraint, which are designed to be as least-intrusive as is necessary in the circumstances of restraint.
  4. Techniques which as far as possible take into account the stress of an emergency intervention and the effects on motor skill performance which may happen.
  5. A system of holding which is flexible to the ‘chaotic geometry’ of a real incident, allowing the staff to respond to the movements of a child without undue strain or force being applied
  6. Postural and Movement principles which adhere to the Manual Handling Regulations, keeping staff safer from injuries incurred during interventions.
  7. sensitive application of force which should not psychologically effect a child or re-traumatise a child who comes from a troubled background of (for example) physical abuse.

We conduct a full medical audit of your staff using a questionnaire prior to the beginning of training and then allow your staff who may be carrying injuries or pre-existing conditions the option to observe the physical skills training. We are extremely safety conscious and risk-averse in terms of our training delivery.  Our risk-assessments have show to be extremely well-constructed and robust over the course of our professional careers in teaching these courses.

Please watch this video for our pre-course safety briefing.

Please watch this video for our positive handling course safety instructions.

What other settings does Dynamis provide training for?

Our list of over 250 clients includes NHS trusts, Local Authority Social Care departments, Private Care Providers, Housing Associations and well-known organisations such as:

  • Barnardos
  • Mencap
  • The Disabilities Trust
  • The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust
  • Four Seasons Healthcare
  • Erskine Care
  • Camphill Communities
  • NHS Primary Care Trusts
  • United Arab Emirates Healthcare Authorities

About Us

Dynamis Insight is a UK accredited provider of physical intervention training and advice for staff who look after vulnerable people in health, social care and education settings.

Call our office on 0844 812 9795 now!