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Here are some Answers to Common Questions – Price, Format, Accreditations

Our ICM-accredited training for your team is based on nationally-recognised BTEC vocational qualifications in Physical Intervention and restraint. We tailor it for each environment we work in:  Early Years, Mainstream Primary, SEN contexts, High Schools, Boarding environments and other Education settings all over the UK and Internationally.


At the end of your Dynamis Positive Handling course, your staff will be able to:

  • Understand the Context of Positive Handling in Schools
  • Explain what the DfE guidance states about using reasonable force
  • Understand the legal principles regarding physical interventions
  • Know how to recognise inappropriate or abusive physical interventions
  • Understand when physical interventions may be required (Duty of Care)
  • Understand how to minimise the risks when/if physical interventions are used.
  • Carry out safer holding and physical intervention procedures

Dynamis has been delivering this training since 2006 when we first started delivering courses for schools and teaching staff in the areas of de-escalation, personal safety and physical interventions.  In the UK, this type of training in schools is called “Positive Handling” and we are now one of the most active training providers in the sector, known for our pragmatic, fresh and relevant approach.


Your investment level will depend on a number of factors:

  • Number of learners you want to access the training
  • Any split between those doing only online theory training and those doing the full skills course
  • Number of in-person sessions you decide to run and what duration they are (half-day or full-day)
  • Whether you are in a rural area, international or more than 2 hours travel distance from our instructors
  • the mix of topics you need to cover or whether we need to design specific training content for you

Most schools access our core training at an investment level of around £1200 + VAT per session – but our client management and advisory team will be able to give you guidance on what the most efficient spend for your school and your needs are.


  • Mainstream Primary Schools
  • Secondary Schools and 6th Forms
  • Pupil Referral Units (Alternative Provision)
  • Special Schools and Boarding Schools
  • International Schools
  • Independent Behavioural Support Services


  • Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties
  • Autism
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Mental Health Problems


  • Parents, Governors and Head Teachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Head Teachers
  • Inclusion Managers
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinators
  • Classroom Teachers and Teaching Assistants
  • Learning Support Assistants

To meet your scheduling, timing, resource, budget and staff constraints, we have evolved at least these five different ways your school can access Positive Handling from Dynamis.


  • Full Day with Trainer
  • Half-Day with Online
  • Good Practice Briefing
  • Custom to your Context
  • Whole School Online

Your team will cover these topics in the training:

Coping Behaviours

Triggers of Escalated Behaviour and Cues

Escalation-phase characteristics

Violence-phase options

Insights into the Post-Violence phase

Post-Crisis recording and reporting

How to not Escalate Situations

Initiating Interactions Successfully

Redirecting Behaviour with Words

Influencing behaviour with Persuasion

Treat with Dignity, Show Respect

Health and Safety Duty of Care



Difficult Decisions

Staff and Employer Duties

Powers under Law

Lawful Excuse to Use Force

The Tests of Necessity

How to measure Proportionality

The issue of Honest Belief

Reporting and Recording

Risks of Physical Injury

Risks of Psychological Injury

Sudden Death proximal to Restraint

Medical Issues

Tactics and positions which should be avoided.

The importance of Posture

Prompting & Escorting

Holding & Immobilisation for children

Seated, Kneeling, Standing positions

Personal Protection

Example Video from the Online Course

Here is the introduction video to our Online Positive Handling theory course – used in a blended approach with our in-person session to give your team full training but without the full-day investment of time.

Introduction to Positive Handling from Dynamis on Vimeo.

Understanding Behaviour (in brief): 

Staff will be able to use a common framework to describe the phases, intensity and risk level of behaviour they are dealing with.

Our aim in this session will be to ensure that all staff attending the session have a framework of understanding in relation to the escalation and de-escalation of behaviour during an incident.  We will use the Kaplan/Wheeler curve as a key touchstone upon which we will layer information about:

  • Coping Behaviours
  • Triggers of Escalated Behaviour and Cues
  • Escalation-phase characteristics
  • Violence-phase options
  • Insights into the Post-Violence phase
  • Post-Crisis recording and reporting

Non-Escalation and De-Escalation Tactics (in brief):  

Staff will be able to apply a range of different verbal and non-verbal tactics which are non-physical, to reduce the risk of escalation or to defuse situations which are escalating.

Our aim in this session will be to establish the basic elements of good communication (how to show people respect in every encounter) and then build upon those to enable staff to use The Special Needs Strategies (from our ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’ programme) to manage crisis episodes more effectively.

Understanding ‘Duty of Care’:

Staff will be able to make decisions based on a clear understanding of what their duty of care demands of them in crisis situations.

Our aim in this session will be to make sure that staff have a clear decision-making framework in place in regard to their duty of care for themselves and the children they look after, their colleagues and their employer.   For example, using the ‘first responder’ principle from First-Aid training, a person’s first duty upon encountering a crisis is to “assess for danger” – this suggests that the person responding *must* have regard for their own safety before intervening in any crisis.

Building on this principle we will use case-studies and stories to explore with staff how they should take “Reasonable Care” for themselves and others in situations in order to manage them safely, appropriately without exposing anyone involved to unnecessary risk.

Understanding the Legal Power to use Reasonable Force: 

Staff will be able to describe the legal principles which underline their right to use physical force in different scenarios and to know when it is right to (and when it is wrong to) use physical force according to local statute.

The rights of staff to use force, as long as it is reasonable in the circumstances they find themselves in, to protect themselves and others is enshrined in legislation.  This right to use force is founded on two major principles, which have their own attendant ‘tests’ to establish whether certain actions are Reasonable or not.

In this session we will explore with staff the legal foundations of the concept of Reasonable Force, with reference to the acts of parliament, so that they may:

  1. Understand and consider their rights to use force
  2. Have a decision-making framework which will guide them to reasoned action in a crisis
  3. provide for them a structured way of describing their actions post-incident in a report

Understanding the Risks involved in Physical Interventions:

Staff will be able to recognise situations of high-risk and to avoid introducing actions into a scenario which would heighten the risk of serious injury or death during an incident.

It is a fact that when a team engage in physical intervention with a vulnerable person that one of the results could be a life-changing injury, the ending of a career or indeed a fatality.   Our aim in this session will be to inform staff as to these dangers and to highlight the hazardous actions which could increase the risk of these results happening.

By raising the awareness of staff of the actions that they should avoid taking, we can drastically reduce the risk that any team who has undergone this training would take these very serious risks with a child’s safety and will make better decisions about when they should withdraw or change their approach in a high-risk situation.

The session raises important questions and provides staff answers to:

  1. What is Positional Asphyxiation?
  2. What are the medical factors which influence outcomes?
  3. What are the signs of physiological distress that we need to be aware of?
  4. What should we do if we see these signs?
  5. What are the restraint methods we should AVOID in a situation?

Carrying out Safer Holding and Physical Intervention Procedures with Children:

Staff will be able to apply the principles of safe intervention with children in a school environment to a number of key scenarios which often occur.  We will explore and practice with your staff appropriate and effective methods for school staff:

  • Verbalisation strategies (in brief) for gaining compliance and de-escalation
  • How to safely approach, prompt and escort a child from place to place
  • How to gain control of a child who is at risk of harming themselves or others (lashing out)
  • How to hold and immobilise a child during the de-escalation process
  • Protection from Biting, Kicking and Spitting during the holding period
  • Standing, Seated and Kneeling variations for the control of different scenarios/persons
  • Self-Protection and Disengagement method for high-risk scenarios
Our Positive Handling courses are carefully designed to meet the needs of your specific environment and the different needs of your team at different levels.  Here are some comments about our courses from teaching staff in a broad range of roles:
A very useful course, pitched at exactly the right level for our school. The trainer was knowledgeable and well prepared and gave the staff confidence. A very positive experience with many staff commenting afterwards on how well the session was run, how useful it was and how much they had enjoyed it.”
– Assistant Headteacher
“Thanks Gerard for an enjoyable, informative and useful training course. I now feel that I have some tools that I can use that are effective, safe and legal. The day after the training I was in a situation which required some physical intervention. I mentally went through the check list (Necessary? Any other option? Last resort?) I was then able to use a technique that you had shown us which quickly calmed the person down and resolved the situation.”
– Independent Behaviour Support Consultant
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course (and wasn’t particularly enthused about doing the course before hand)… Didn’t realise how in depth and useful it was! Gerard was a first class trainer, was highly professional and delivered an excellent training program – would thoroughly recommend him! Thanks Gerard for making our morning so interesting!”
Housemistress – Boarding School
East Sussex
“We appreciated the tailoring of the course to include de-escalation and talking around this as well as the physical intervention itself. It was well worth doing the online training element ahead of time as it was really valuable having as much time as we did to work practically. Gerard answered our questions fully and talked specifically about some of the children we have particular concerns about (eg very young children in nursery). Thank you”
South London


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

Dynamis trainers are all full-time, qualified and insured professionals.  Our team all hold Ofqual-recognised BTEC Level 4 qualifications in Adult Education and the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Physical Restraint, offering you peace of mind that you are getting the best possible advice and training.

We teach a blended approach of behaviour management skills backed with effective but non-harmful physical alternatives which are practical and appropriate.  Our goal is to “treat every person with dignity and show them respect, even in the most challenging of moments”.

Here is a list of recognised accredited qualifications for Dynamis Director of Training, Gerard O’Dea.   All but the last have been awarded by OFQUAL-recognised awarding bodies and are therefore nationally recognised qualifications which are independently assessed:

  • Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases) from Cardiff University Law School / Bond Solon
  • Level 4 Award in Child Psychology
  • 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
  • Certified Instructor for Verbal Defence and Influence and European Adviser


It is widely accepted that an “accredited training package” is only a suitable and sufficient control of the risks in a particular context if it has been suitably adapted and tailored for the environment it is being delivered into.

When we deliver training at a service such as yours, we work to a Training Needs Analysis (the document for your service runs to about 7,000-words)  which is written specifically for your context and environment in terms of the common scenarios your staff face and the risks you must control for your client group.  This TNA can be made available to you by request.

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