Healthcare Context

  • De-escalation
  • Dealing with Common Assaults
  • Body Language of Aggression
  • Knowledge Development
  • De-Escalating Posture
  • Engaging Risk Safely
  • Team Tactics
  • Self-Protection

This course is designed for healthcare staff who work in environments where there will be a high frequency of disturbed and/or harmful behaviours from patients and visitors - specifically in the emergency department and/or the psychiatric services.

The course builds on first-responder principles by broadening and deepening the staff awareness of impact factors which will influence their decision-making while also giving them a broader range of physical control methods from which they may select the most appropriate in given circumstances.  In particular, this course deals with longer-term control of the subject where it is assumed that the medical staff will retain custody and care of the individual after the incident and the issues this raises.

Full Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, your staff will have successfully completed all the necessary learning outcomes for the award of a certificate of competency from Dynamis.

Staff who successfully complete this course will:

  • Understand the concept of Reasonable Force in relation to physical intervention and restraint.
  • Explore the requirements of international Human Rights and how they apply to physical interventions.
  • Examine the requirements of Health and Safety best practice and associated guidance and show how they apply to physical interventions.
  • Evaluate the risks associated with aggression and violence (pre-, during and post-incident) and explore how to minimise those risks.
  • Identify and describe the relevant guidance and best practice in relation to the physical restraint of vulnerable individuals and groups.
  • Differentiate between holding, escorting and restraining and non-harmful seated restraint techniques and how to apply them.
  • Demonstrate and explain how to gradually de-escalate and relax restraint to allow the subject being restrained to regain self-control.
  • Explore the risks of associated with alcohol and drugs, knives and other forms of edged weapons in relation to violence management and tactics.
  • Investigate the difference between non-harmful methods of control and more restrictive methods of control and when the use of such methods would be considered appropriate.

Principal Instructor

Gerard O'Dea is a conflict, personal safety and physical interventions training consultant and principal trainer for Dynamis.

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  • Cardiff University Law School / Bond Solon Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases)
  • University of Stirling  BA Business Studies and Japanese


  • National Federation for Personal Safety (NFPS) Accredited Instructor
  • National Federation for Personal Safety (NFPS) Licensed Centre for Delivery of BTEC Awards
  • National Federation for Personal Safety (NFPS) Certified Violence at Work Risk Assessor 
  • BTEC Level 4 Professional Award inPreparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award inDelivery of Conflict Management Training
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award inPhysical Restraint Practice 
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Physical Intervention (SIA) 
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award inCoaching & Instruction of Physical Restraint
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Safe and Effective use of Restraint Devices
  • Chartered Institute for Environmental Health Level 2 Award in Manual Handling 
  • Chartered Institute for Environmental Health Level 3 Award in Principles and Practice of Risk Assessment 
  • Certified by the Institute for Prevention of In-Custody Deaths as aUse-of-Force Trainer
  •  Certified at the NHS National Conflict Resolution syllabus Familiarisation Seminar
  • Certified at the AELE Workshop onLegal, Psychological and Biomechanical Aspects of Officer-Involved Lethal and Less-Lethal Use of Force.


  • Protecting Scottish Public Services Workers National Conference Glasgow (2007)
  • Control & Restraint General Services Association National ConferenceEdinburgh (2010)

 I have delivered training in personal safety, conflict risk management and physical intervention for over 150 organisations and frequently provide professional consultation and advice on:

  • The issues in common and criminal law in relation to use of force
  • How the Human Rights Act 1998 impacts on training and management of violence
  • How Health and Safety legislation relates to staff who face occupational violence
  • Restraint-related risks of sudden death
  • Human Factors-based Training Needs Analysis and Programme Design
  • Psychological and Physiological factors in high-risk violent confrontations
  • Obligations of managers under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The impact of legislation and national guidance for the care of vulnerable people in crisis, including Department for Education and Department of Health, NICE and Mental Health Act Code of Practice.

Dynamis Insight is an accredited provider of personal safety, conflict management and physical intervention and training which is based on modern findings about the nature of aggression and violent confrontations.  Our courses are sought out all across the UK and Internationally.  Please visit our website for further information:

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