PMVA Training: Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression

We provide PMVA Training Courses for:

  • Care Homes and Home Care Services
  • Private Hospitals
  • Healthcare Services
  • Ambulance Services and Trusts
  • Care Support Services
  • …any environment where there is a risk of violence and aggression.

PMVA Training helps to reduce the risks of violence and aggression by developing staff knowledge, skills and attitudes to effectively employ de-escalation skills, breakaway and disengagement tactics or control and restraint interventions appropriately within the context of their services.   The training meets NHS Protect standards in conflict resolution and physical intervention.

Your team will learn to safely apply appropriate non-restrictive or (where necessary) restrictive physical interventions as alternatives to the primary non-escalation and secondary de-escalation strategies which we will help you to put in place.

The objectives of our PMVA course normally include:


  • The Principles of Reasonable Force
    • Common Law
    • Criminal Law
  • Care Legislation
    • Care Act
    • Mental Health Act
    • Mental Capacity Act
    • DoLS
  • Decision-Making in regard to the Duty of Care
    • Health and Safety at Work Act
    • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
    • Health and Safety Offences and Corporate Manslaughter
    • Manual Handling Operations Regulations
  • Government and National Guidance
    • NICE NG10
    • NICE NG11
    • NICE Violence: Short Term Management
    • Positive and Proactive Care (Department of Health)
  • Human Rights Act
    • Article 2
    • Article 3
    • Article 5 and others
  • Reducing the Risks of Sudden Death During Restraint
  • Positional Asphyxia and Excited Delirium
  • Recognising Warning Signs in Restraint Interventions


    • Core Person-Centred Values for Dealing with Distressed, Resistant, Dangerous Behaviour
    • Legal, medical and professional implications of incidents involving PMVA
    • Risk assessment (both formal and informal) during episodes of PMVA
    • Legal and medical implications
    • Good practice following PMVA incident management


  • The Kaplan/Wheeler Model of the Assault Cycle
  • Brain function and Aggression/Stress
  • Recognising the cues for Primal/Social behaviours
  • The SCARF Model of influences on human behaviour
  • 7-Phase model of incident management and recording


  • Treating every person with Dignity and Showing them Respect
  • Having the correct attitudes needed for conflict resolution
  • Initiating contact with patients service users, visitors and other staff in a non-escalatory way
  • Discovering and Dealing with people’s communicated needs through listening and empathy
  • Managing resistance through appropriate persuasion and influencing skills
  • Deflecting and Redirecting verbal aggression through focus on key goals
  • Working with the audience and bystanders to positively influence conflict
  • Knowing when to disengage from conflict


Proxemics, Prompting and Escorting

  • Prompting and Escorting – Front
  • Prompting and Escorting – Back

Control Principles

  • Core Control Principle
  • Handles on the Body/Clothing Principle
  • Managing Space Moving to Safety
  • Approach and Positioning

Restraint Principles

  • Restraint Principles for Flexed Arm
  • Restraint Principles for Extended Arm
  • Dealing with Kicking Behaviours (when standing)
  • Dealing with the subject dropping while held

More Restrictive Restraint Interventions

  • Overhook/Underhook with Frame
  • Joint Manipulation Principles (only where necessary)

Variations in Position:

  • Seated Holds
  • Kneeling Holds

Dealing with Resistive Behaviours:

  • Dealing with Head Behaviours (butting)
  • Dealing with Head Behaviours (bashing)
  • Dealing with Head Behaviours (spitting)
  • Dealing with Kicking Behaviours

Fundamentals of Self-Protection

  • Understanding Instinctive Protection
  • Apply Instinctive Protection to Stimulus
  • Understand ‘Frames’
  • Strengthen Frames with Pressure
  • Maintain Balance under Pressure
  • Protect Consciousness under Assault

Survival from Common Attacks

  • Survival against impacts to the head
  • Survival against body grabs
  • Survival against clothing/limb grabs
  • Survival against throat grab
  • Survival against hair grab
  • Survival against the rear choke-hold

Engagement Methods

  • Use of the Forearm
  • Use of the Palm and Hand
  • Use of the Elbow
  • Use of the Knee
  • Use of the Foot/Heel

Advanced Control Tactics

  • Dealing with resistance in Control Tactics
  • Resistant Pulling away
  • Resistant Pushing towards
  • Resistant Standing up
  • Escorting the Resistive Subject
  • Dealing with Resistance from the Escort Subject
  • Dealing with the subject on the floor (only where necessary)

Training in PMVA: Learning Outcomes

Our PMVA courses develop all three levels of prevention and management of violence and aggression:
  • Proactive strategies to prevent incidents of aggression or violence
  • Retro-active strategies to defuse and de-escalate an emerging situation
  • Reactive Strategies to minimise injury risk and regain control of a situation.

PMVA Skills Development:

  • Duty of Care:  Understanding where the duty begins and ends and who carries responsibility for restraint during an intervention.
  • Breakaway / Restraint Use of Force Rules:  Understanding Reasonable Force for Control and Restraint Interventions
  • Risk Awareness:  What are the risks of physical restraint intervention and how to reduce or avoid them
  • Government Guidance:  What is expected by the national authorities who advise on best practice for restraint interventions and restrictive practices (e.g. Department of Health, NICE Guidance, Relevant Codes of Practice)
  • Teamwork:  Working in cooperation with team-mates in high-risk restraint and non-restraint situations
  • Physical Tactics:   Reliable and Robust methods for last-resort physical intervention resolution of high-risk conflict situations
    • Managing Proximity and Body Language Effectively (Proxemics)
    • Low-Level Breakaway Skills from Common Assaults (grabbing)
    • Functional Breakaway Skills from More Serious Assaults (impacts)
    • Safe Prompting and Guiding Skills for use with unpredictable service users
    • Control Tactics for early-stage engagement with a resistant or violent person
    • Holding and Escorting Skills for use with disoriented persons
    • Restraint Skills for more serious incidents requiring robust stabilisation (only where necessary)
    • the use of restraint devices such as the Soft Restraint System (only where necessary)
If you require your staff to learn non-physical responses to distressed, difficult or dangerous behaviour, then your staff will explore and practice the following CONFLICT MANAGEMENT concepts with our trainers:
✔ 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

PMVA Training Formats

IMPORTANT:  To properly control risk and to manage your liability exposure as a responsible employer, the training you provide to your staff should match the needs of your teams and the levels of risk to which they are exposed.    

At Dynamis, leveraging our online training system which has been successfully used since 2014 for a variety of teams, we can maximise the  in-person contact time needed to create positive learning experiences for learners.   We have, for example, been able to provide 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-day courses which develop broad competencies for PMVA and meet the specific needs of teams.

Broadly speaking, each core element of PMVA training should take one day of introduction and practice, interspersed with the knowledge and guidance elements of the course content:

  • Conflict Management and Verbal Skills for Dealing with Distress/Aggression (1 day)
  • Personal Safety/Breakaway Skills for disengagement from Violence (1 day)
  • Interventions for Prompting, Escorting, Holding at a Lower Risk Level (1 day)
  • Options for Holding, Control and Restraint at a Higher Risk Level (1 day)
  • Control Tactics for High-Risk Contexts including Restraint Equipment (1 day)

Each stage of this training builds on the previous phase of training and experience in order to best contribute to overall performance capability, both in terms of the team and the individual.

For one-day courses, please see individual course webpages as follows:

Conflict Communications and Crisis Intervention

Personal Safety and Disengagement

Physical Restraint Interventions

Course Feedback from Dynamis course atendees for January-December 2016

Were your expectations about the course met?

Exceeded 52.28%

Fulfilled 47.45%

Did the trainer observe good Health and Safety practices?

Yes (Y) 98.93%

Were exercises on your training course conducted safely?

Yes (Y) 368 98.66%

How did you rate the Dynamis instructor’s knowledge and competence?

Excellent 75.87%

Very Good 21.98%

Good 2.68%

Were all your questions answered comprehensively by your trainer?

Yes (Y) 98.39%

Was the training delivered using a mix of delivery styles which enabled you to learn effectively?

Yes (Y) 99.46%

Was the course of the right duration for you to gain the skills and knowledge you needed?

Slightly too long 10.99%

Just the right duration 72.12%

Slightly too short 13.40%

Were the techniques and tactics you learned appropriate to the real scenarios you will – or might forseeably – face in your work?

Yes (Y) 95.98%

Were the theory and knowledge components of the course helpful for you professionally?

Yes (Y) 98.93%

The Structure of Training in PMVA:

  • Tiers of Training specific to staff role & exposure
  • Placed within a Legal Context
  • Based on Formal Assessments of Risk
  • Identified using a Training Needs Analysis
  • Learning Outcomes based on Identified Need
  • Evaluated against Operational Effectiveness

1)  Our approach to providing advice, training and consultancy in the prevention and management of violence and aggression (PMVA training) follows a three tier model as follows:

PMVA Primary Prevention:  understanding the causes and triggers for challenging, risky or violent behaviour and attempting to change aspects of the environment in order to reduce the risk of their occurrence.

PMVA Secondary Prevention:  selective interventions, mainly involving effective communication strategies which seek to prevent such situations, if they do occur, from escalating.

PMVA Tertiary Management:  interventions, usually including some physical component, for mitigating and reducing risk if situations escalate to the point of violence or the possibility that serious harm or injury could occur.

Dynamis offers courses which cover all three phases of the model and which emphasise both Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions wherever possible, in line with the wider movement towards Restraint Reduction Programmes.


2)  All of the above activities must be carried out within a legal context for PMVA which governs the behaviour of Directors, Managers and Staff in a given organisation, so the relevant legislation and national guidance must be referenced in regard to any PMVA training interventions which are planned.

All Dynamis courses have a legal foundation which ensures their robust compliance with relevant legislation.

  • Human Rights Act
  • Health and Safety at Work Act
  • Mental Health Act
  • Mental Capacity Act
  • Health and Safety Management Regulations
  • Manual Handling Regulations
  • RIDDOR 1995
  • Employment Rights Act

…amongst other pieces of statute legislation, regulations and national-level guidance which applies to the specific area of work in which the PMVA training may be applied.


3)  There is a clear responsibility – indeed a legal duty – on management of an organisation to ensure that hazards relating to PMVA are the subject of properly-constructed risk-assessments to a suitable and sufficient standard and that the appropriate ‘reasonably practicable’ controls such as training are put in place.

The 5-Step Risk Assessment Process

1) Look for the Hazards

2) Decide who might be harmed and how

3) Evaluate the Risks and the Controls

4) Record the Findings

5) Review the Assessment and Revise when Necessary

Dynamis offers clients our bespoke online Violence Risk Analysis tool for our PMVA training which assists with this process.


4)  Often, training is identified as a required PMVA Risk Control Measure.  In order to properly design and deliver a relevant and appropriate Training Programme, the organisation should carry out a Training Needs Analysis which outlines the business outcomes which are being sought and identifies the learning outcomes which will best support those outcomes.

Dynamis offers clients our bespoke online Training Needs Analysis tool which assists with this process.


5)  Once training needs are identified, then the relevant and appropriate Duration and Learning Outcomes of the PMVA training can be agreed upon and the training programme can be set in motion.  Sometimes, a trial of the final training programme design can be useful to refine the programme for best results.

Dynamis Learning Outcomes are linked to the National Occupational Standards for the Management of Violence at Work

6)  Training should be evaluated, both for its utility and effectiveness at the level of the staff receiving it, and also for its achievement of the stated goals identified during the Training Needs Analysis phase.   This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including auditing and reporting on a frequent basis against agreed benchmarks.

Dynamis offers clients our bespoke online evaluation system which gathers data from attendees and managers in regards to the efficacy and goal-achievement of the training programme.

  • Creating an Environment of Non-Violence
  • Conflict Management and Verbalisation Skills
  • Personal Safety and Breakaway Skills
  • Last-Resort Physical Restraint Interventions
  • Teamwork for Incident Management
  • Comprehensive Risk Management
  • Restraint Reduction through Values
PMVA Training for Violence Reduction

Call 0844 812 9795 or Send an Enquiry to our team here:

  • What kind of course are you interested in and why? What kind of time have you allocated for it and when are you thinking of holding the training? Thank you!
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