Everything You Needed to Know About Breakaway Training But Were Afraid To Ask
So what is ‘Breakaway Training’? First it might be useful to define exactly what a ‘Breakaway Technique’ is. A ‘Breakaway Technique’ is a physical skill that is designed to enable a member of staff to safely ‘break away’ from an aggressor who may be attempting to grab or hold them. Imagine an angry customer, a distressed patient or an individual with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties who in the midst of a crisis reaches across to take hold a staff member. What is needed to resolve the situation is a technique that can be used to re-instate safe space between the two, so that conflict management techniques can be fully explored.
Breakaway training therefore is a training programme set up to familiarise staff with those ‘Breakaway Techniques’ that they may need to use. This makes clear that any course should be specified following careful training needs analysis. Typically a training provider will come in and look closely at the job staff do, and the types of situation they face. Usually a look back over incident reports will also shine light on the physical nature of those incidents which contain what might be characterised as challenging or aggressive behaviour. It may be wrist or arm grabs that proliferate or even hair or clothing grabs. The key is to examine the true nature of the incidents that it is reasonably foreseeable that will occur.
Breakaway training should only ever be delivered by a training provider that can demonstrate that they are experienced in this area. It’s not good enough to have someone with a little martial arts experience or who used to do ‘Breakaway Training’ when they used to work in an old job. What you need is a training provider who firstly is adequately insured. Then you need to ensure that any ‘Breakaway Techniques’ that are taught are fully and thoroughly risk assessed. (Some techniques can be very dangerous and are therefore unsuitable for staff) Then you need to make sure that any trainers that the company use are suitably experienced. Developing competence is a physical skill requires the learner to develop dynamic balance, physical co-ordination and agility, as well as mental sequencing and problem solving skills. All this on top of a good understanding of the law as well as local policy and procedures.
If you are looking to address the risk of aggression or violence within your work setting and believe that ‘Breakaway training’ could have a place alongside personal safety and conflict management training be prepared to make sure you buy in high quality training. If you cut corners somebody could get hurt, and that would be far more expensive than any money you save by choosing a cheap training provider.