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Training and Development

Behavioural Support Strategies

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Behavioural Support Strategies (BSS) is a Voluntary Organisation and was created as an independent Scottish entity offering training and support to develop and implement the BSS programme of dealing with Behaviours of Concern in Scotland.

The need to establish BSS was driven by changes in European and Scottish legislation e.g. Human Rights Act 1998 and Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 which required organisations to have recognised systems of accountability in place to ensure quality of provision for people who use services. The BSS approach is an established and recognised method of achieving this for people who on occasions may challenge services.

Our training has been Certificated by Bild Association of Certificated Training (ACT), since March 2020, under the new Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards. Bild ACT does annual checks on BSS and Re-Certification every three years.

Previously BSS was accredited by Bild since 2004 under the 'BILD Code of Practice for the use and reduction of restrictive physical interventions'.


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The BSS approach offers a step by step process for crisis intervention and prevention. The BSS programme promotes the Whole Person Approach and aims to provide a framework for the use of proactive support for the management of behaviour that causes concern. It emphasises as a very last resort the use of Reactive Strategies and Physical Interventions.

Each person’s needs are assessed to emphasise positive behaviour changes, with staff actively working to support the individual develop new skills and improve self-control.

BSS acknowledges that there are occasions when a Physical Intervention or Breakaway Technique may need to be employed in order to prevent injury to self or others. To ensure the training of these manoeuvres is as safe as possible, consistent and carried out to a high standard, BSS Instructors must follow the strict guidelines which are handed out to them during their training. These interventions are used as a last resort.

All Physical Interventions and Breakaway Techniques have been Biomechanically Assessed by The Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, Human Performance Laboratory. The aim of this study was to perform biomechanical analysis and risk assessment of all intervention (restraining) techniques, from the perspective of both the restrainer and restrained. In 2019 they were also assessed for the Psychological Impact on both the restrainer and restrained by Strathclyde University as part of the Biomechanical Assessment.

The BSS programme was developed for service users, their families, carers and direct care staff.

Our courses cover training in a wide variety of services supporting people who may challenge the service or themselves. These include services supporting:

  • Residential and Day Services
  • Residential Schools and Education Settings
  • Visiting Support Services
  • Fieldwork and Community Services
  • Services with complex support needs
  • Services with support physical, sensory and learning difficulties
  • Younger adults in Transitional Services
  • Services that support those challenged by autism
  • Mental Health Services
  • Services that support older people and those diagnosed with dementia
  • Clinical Services
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Courses

BSS can train and support members of your staff team to become Instructors. Instructors can then go on to deliver relevant, appropriate training courses to the wider staff team within your organisation. This essential training can be a very cost effective option. After the initial training is complete, the Instructors we have trained receive on-going advice, support and further training from our team of BSS Instructor Trainers.

We have a variety of courses available to meet the needs of your organisation, your staff and the people who use your services.

The organisations which use the BSS approach are encouraged to adapt the course to the needs of their staff in line with the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards. The key messages are identification of the triggers for behaviour, recognition of the early signs of agitation, early intervention, calming and de-escalation. There is also a session on the legal aspects of the use of restraint.

All staff must receive 2 Day Proactive Strategies Pathway, 12 hours Training in Proactive, Active & Reactive Strategies prior to participating in the practical physical Interventions and Breakaway Techniques.

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Our Trainers

BSS comprises of a group of Bild ACT Certificated Instructor Trainers who offer training to enable members of staff from your organisation to deliver courses in the use and development of proactive approaches in relation to behaviours that cause concern. We can provide training in a range of approaches which the use of physical interventions and breakaway techniques is as a last resort.

Mission Statement

By providing training in the BSS approach to behaviours that cause concern, we will:

  • Improve the quality of life for people who are supported through BSS
  • Maintain quality and professional standards of conduct
  • Develop good practice in direct care and support
  • Promote lifelong learning

Behavioural Support Strategies Principles

We adhere to the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards:

  • We will be flexible and adapt the training as appropriate to the service needs
  • We will make best use of developments in theory and practice in relation to BSS
  • We will ensure the training we offer will continue to be of a high standard and cost-effective
  • We are committed to BSS and will be supportive to people being trained regardless of designation
  • We will review all training on a regular basis and we maintain on-going contact with BSS Instructors
  • We are committed to being reflective practitioners and will continue to share learning and improve practice
  • We have an open door policy and continually engage with Organisations and BSS Instructors with issues as they arise
  • We will learn from the feedback we receive to support a better quality of life for people who are supported through BSS
  • We respect everyone equally using the same approach to the staff that use our service as we expect them to have in interactions with the people they support
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"BSS has supported Inspire for many years. We chose BSS as they fitted well with our person-centred values and they focused on restraint being a last resort. From the very beginning their instructors shared a fresh and inspirational approach that allowed us to develop proactive approaches that transformed the lives of the people we support. Not only did this reduce the level of restraint required but it also enhanced the persons quality of life considerably."

Miles Davies, Regional Manager - Inspire
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