Expert Witness Services


Gerard O’Dea

Offering Expert Witness services in the areas of Conflict and Use of Force.

Bond Solon / Cardiff University qualified and experienced Use of Force and Conflict Specialist.

Providing deep insight into split-second decisions made in rapidly unfolding, tense and uncertain circumstances.  Frame-by-Frame analysis of available evidence.  Scientific, evidence-based analysis wherever possible.  Phenomenon such as the Startle Reflex, Instinctive Protection, Tueller-Drill findings, Kaplan-Wheeler Analysis, Perceptual Distortions, Learning Fallacies, Motor Skill Acquisition and Survival-Stress Effects are considered as-standard.

As of September 2018, I have personally advised and taught more than 15,000 staff working in higher-risk occupations how to professionally manage conflict, personal safety and physical interventions in over 8,000 hours of training contact-time.

I welcome contact in cases where my expertise may be of service, for example:

Incident or Allegation in respect of training issues:

  • Training Programme rationale 
  • Appropriateness of Training Needs Analysis
  • Safe Training Delivery
  • Evidence base for Training Content
  • Maximising Learning in Conflict and Interventions Training
  • Training Fidelity (contextual issues)
  • National Guidance in practice
  • Regulations in practice
  • Human Rights implications for practice

Incident or Allegation in respect of operational issues:

  • Safe Systems of Work for Prevention and Management of Violence
  • Personal Safety
  • Lone Working
  • Self-Defence
  • Assaulted by Vulnerable Client
  • Physical Intervention
  • Control and Restraint
  • Arrest, Control and Defensive Tactics
  • Officer Safety
  • Safe Holding (Dementia)
  • Positive Handling (with children in Schools)
  • Physiological and psychological aspects of Use of Force
  • Video Analysis of Incident (CCTV, Dash-cam, Body-cam)


Gerard O’Dea 

Conflict Management and Physical Interventions Specialist Trainer/Advisor

Director of Training at Dynamis TRAINING (2006-present)


University of Stirling BA Business Studies and Japanese 

Institute of Conflict Management (ICM) Level 4 Physical Skills Tutor Award

Institute of Conflict Management (ICM) Quality Award Centre #2201

Verbal Defense and Influence – Certified Instructor and European Adviser
Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases) Cardiff University Law School

BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Safer Handling of People
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 Advanced Self Defence Instruction
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 Safe and Effective use of Restraint Devices

Level 4 Diploma in Child Psychology

  • Functional Edge System Regional Director – Europe
  • Functional Edge Core Personal Safety Tactics Instructor 
  • Functional Edge Non-Vertical Tactics Instructor
  • Functional Edge Edged Weapon Tactics Instructor
  • Functional Edge Restricted Positions Tactics Instructor
  • Functional Edge High-Risk Control Tactics Instructor
  • Functional Edge Multiple Assailants Tactics Instructor
  • Functional Edge Advanced Edged Weapon Tactics Instructor
  • Blauer Tactical Systems Personal Defense Readiness
  • Blauer Tactical Systems Groundfighting Advanced Certification
  • Blauer Tactical Systems Ballistic Microfight Advanced Certification

CIEH Level 3 Award in Principles and Practice of Risk Assessment 

Certified by the Institute for Prevention of In-Custody Deaths (IPICD) as a Use-of-Force Trainer 

Certified at the NHS National Conflict Resolution Syllabus Familiarisation Seminar

Certified at the AELE Workshop on Legal, Psychological and Biomechanical Aspects of Officer-Involved Lethal and Less-Lethal Use of Force.  

Social Care Institute for Excellence Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards e-learning

Social Care Institute for Excellence Mental Capacity Act e-learning

5th Dan Renshi grade in Ryukyu Kempo & Kobudo (Classical Okinawan Martial Art)

Protecting Scottish Public Services Workers National Conference Glasgow (2007) 

Control & Restraint General Services Association National Conference Edinburgh (2010)


A Practice Guide for Positive Handling in Schools, 2017

Lone Working Personal Safety (A guidebook for Health & Social Care Workers), 2014

Professional Experience:

I have delivered training and advice in personal safety, conflict risk management and physical intervention for organisations across the UK and Internationally.

I have been operating as a trainer-advisor since 2006 when I 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 I am now one of the most active training providers in the sector.

My current speciality is Positive Handling training (Use of Force in Schools) and our services are in demand from a wide range of schools:

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

Those receiving our training include any staff working at a school with children who present behaviours which might be harmful, including those with:

  • Autism or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Mental Health Problems
  • …or simply those children who struggle to settle-in to school.

The kinds of staff who benefit from our sessions, which cover management-level planning, reporting and control information as well as frontline, pragmatic tactics for everyday use are: 

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

I frequently provide professional consultation and advice on: 

  • Safe Systems of Work for Management of Violence Risk
  • Non-Escalation and De-Escalation of Conflict
  • Verbal Skills for Negotiation and Persuasion
  • Crisis Intervention when dealing with Emotionally Disturbed persons
  • Physical Confrontations and their safest possible resolution within the law
  • Personal Safety, Breakaway Skills and Physical Intervention/Restraint Tactics
  • Follow-up considerations after incidents in order to restore safety in the long-term 

My client list includes over 500 schools in the UK including both primary and secondary contexts, mainstream, special schools, and teams working with children who have a wide range of needs.  I am the preferred supplier of managing violent behaviour training for the National Association of Therapeutic Parents, working with foster carers and adoptive parents.

I have completed advice and training for the Scottish Prison Service, State Hospital at Carstairs, UAE Critical National Infrastructure Agency, NHS primary care, Abu Dhabi Healthcare Authority, Dubai Healthcare Authority, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Four Seasons Healthcare, Peterborough City Council, Edinburgh City Council and over 200 care home providers across the UK.

Read more: