Safeguarding Children and Young Persons training: A firsthand account.

It is our responsibility to take care of those who can’t defend themselves. Unfortunately, many children are often victims of some form of abuse. Whether it be mental or physical, we must open our eyes and recognise the signs. That is why Safeguarding Children and Young Persons training is an excellent way to put all the information you might already know into the right places.

 What is Safeguarding children?

This is how I define Safeguarding: It is protecting children and their rights no matter where they come from. It is giving every child equal opportunities in life by preventing all kinds of abuse, and by helping those who have already suffered.

Who needs it?

Safeguarding children training is useful for everyone, but is is arguably essential for those working with children and young persons. It is a big responsibility to work with them and their welfare is the number one priority.

How can we help?

 We can all see bruises, we can all recognise if a child is behaving differently to his/hers peers. However, I don’t think everyone knows how they would proceed from there. What would you do if you saw a child with torn clothes and he/she  doesn’t look well cared? Should I first talk to the child? Or perhaps call the police? The parents?

These are the questions that I had before the training, I wasn’t sure what would be the right thing to do. Every situation is different, which means that the ways of dealing with them are different too, familiarising yourself with the different situations and solutions is key.

What are the benefits?

 This training helps to provide perspective on topics that may seem obvious. You will know if a child has an unexplained bruise or broken arm, you will know if they appear to be behaving out of character.

But, what do these different signs mean? We can all see the signs, but identifying their root cause is not as easy. This training will teach you the correct ways in which to proceed, for every situation.

What did I learn?

What I learned when I did my Safeguarding Children and Young Persons training was not only how to recognise different signs that indicate abuse, but more importantly, how to react and address them.

Some people can get very attached to the children they are working with and helping, I am one of those people, that is why this was excellent training to do.

Now I know the correct ways to react, and the best ways to proceed, when it comes to the Safeguarding of Children and Young Persons.

By Tia Karttunen.




Is “Blended Learning” right for you?

So, what is ‘Blended Learning’? Just a buzz word or something that saves time and money?

“Blended learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods”

So, what does that mean in reality? Well, let’s take the First Aid at Work qualification and explore two ways of completing it: First, the traditional method, then the Blended Learning method.

As you know, the Health & Safety Executive require employers to provide adequate First Aid provision for these employees and visitors. Most employers will send staff on a First Aid at Work course to gain a recognised qualification and therefore the employer can demonstrate they have exercised their duty of care.

A standard First Aid at Work course will require the student to attend for three days, during which the course will deliver a range of training through powerpoints, discussion, demonstrations, practical sessions and finally assessments. The student will spend three days away from the workplace gaining the knowledge and understanding in order to carry out the practical skills required to administer First Aid in the workplace.

If the First Aid provider offered a blended learning approach then the student could be enrolled on an e-Learning portal, which would allow them to complete the learning elements of the course in their own time, whilst remaining in their workplace. This saves on travelling time, possibly accommodation costs, and it is also more efficient. The student can log onto the portal when they wish, and complete the learning in stages. Each module has assessment questions to ensure that the student has understood the content, and allows them to repeat any areas where they are unsure, as many times as they want.

Having completed the e-Learning and received an online certificate there are then two routes to follow: The first is for those students who don’t require a formal qualification, in which case the record of e-Learning may be enough for them and they do not need to do anything else. For those students requiring a formal qualification, or confirmation that they have indeed understood the training and gained the correct knowledge, they can attend a

For those students requiring a formal qualification, or confirmation that they have indeed understood the training and gained the correct knowledge, they can attend a two-day course which will consolidate their learning with a range of discussions and practical exercises, finished off with some assessments. Once the assessments are complete, the learner will receive an accredited qualification.

What are the benefits of blended learning? Well, it isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people will prefer to complete the e-Learning in their own time, at their own pace, and then only attend atwo-dayy course.

Blended learning will often be cheaper because the provider won’t have to supply a trainer for three days, and the savings to employers are both financial ( course costs, travel costs and possibly accommodation) and efficiency (the employee can complete the e-Learning over a period of time, without impacting on three whole days of work at once).

If you’d like to find out more about blended learning options, please email us on

Thank you for reading!



Can you manage an investigation?

Several organisations are finding themselves embroiled in controversy because of complaints not being dealt with correctly.  Some of these are internal complaints from their own workforce.

Southern Medical Trust have recently been heavily criticised and sanctioned for a series of malpractice incidents. Irrespective of circumstances of the actual incident they were additionally criticised for not investigating these incidents correctly.  Some of this criticism was avoidable, the fact that they attracted significant reputational damage just because they failed to investigate properly would appear to be a serious own goal.

No organisation is immune to exposure of this kind of criticism.

The number of complaints recorded in Universities and High Education establishments, for instance, has grown significantly in recent years.  Complaints regarding the actions and conduct of both students and staff encompass a range of subjects: From cheating and plagiarism, allegations of inadequate teaching and support, as well as a range of serious criminal allegations.

Surrounding opinion of the younger generation and entitled millennia’s aside, it is clear that people are more ready to engage with litigation.  Coupled with this, they also have an improved awareness of the complaints process and improved support from trade organisations and representative bodies and a highly competitive legal system hungry for work.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator has a statutory role to investigate a number of student complaints. Their 2015 report shows that the trend continues to rise (See Fig 1). An increasing number of which are seen as justified or partly justified (See Fig 2).


Figure 1
Figure 2

In the meantime, support and resources for senior managers tasked with investigating these complaints has failed to keep pace with the changes.

So, the question should be: Does my organisation know how to investigate? Have we got systems and policies in place? Do they have people within their organisation who can run or manage an investigation effectively?

Dependent on the organisation, the responsibility to carry out at least the initial investigation, lies with senior managers.  HR departments may take the legwork away from managers but ultimately the buck will stop with them.

Senior managers now find themselves increasingly burdened with this arduous responsibility, often without any formal training or guidance of the investigative processes.

Managers, or their nominees responsible for conducting an investigation, will benefit greatly from having some basic investigative training.  Now more than ever, there is increased scrutiny into the conduct of an enquiry/investigation. Adherence to the legislation, policies and procedure of your organisation is paramount in the process.

Developing knowledge and understanding of the investigation process enables the individual manager, as well as the organisation, to evidence their accountability, proportionality and reasonableness in their dealings with complainants irrespective of whether the initial complaint is upheld or not.

Demonstrating a thorough and ethical approach to your investigation may potentially help you avoid costly civil litigations and mitigate the risk of reputational harm.

Managers need to develop knowledge, understanding of the process of investigations and its key elements.  They also need a detailed understanding of the legislation, policies and procedures that governs an investigation and the significance and impact of non-compliance.

As a minimum, when an investigation is commenced the responsible manager will need to understand his or her role in the process along with all the ethics, principles, legislation, policies and procedures.

Investigators will need to develop the investigation strategy and demonstrate all decisions made as a result.

Anyone involved with the enquiry will need to understand the principles of

  • Securing and preserving evidence
  • Management of written material and associated evidence
  • Skills and techniques in investigative interviewing
  • Recording evidence in statement form
  • Case file preparation
  • Skills to present evidence in formal proceedings

Help is available. The legal experts will be able to supply you with hand books and text books which will tell you what you should and should not do, as well as the penalties for getting it wrong.

What the books will not tell you is how to do them, or not do them. The only people who can assist you in this regard are experienced investigators who have been through the fire of court and tribunal hearings, people who have had their every decision scrutinised and questioned in minute detail.

These people will be able to guide you through investigation strategies by helping organisations to put robust working practices and policies in place, which will protect the individuals and the organisation.  Systems, which can ensure the continuity of evidence so as to avoid the embarrassing questions in the middle of a hearing. Experts who can work with individuals who are managing investigations and give them skills to carry out robust, transparent, and impartial investigations which will stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny.  It’s not enough these days to be fair and impartial, it’s sometimes more important to be seen to be so.  You may inevitably need to prove and justify that you and your investigation have been thorough, impartial, fair, and professional, by producing incontestable facts or evidence to support decisions made and actions taken.  Ask yourself, can you manage an investigation correctly?

What would you do in an attack? The case for “Stay Alive” First Aid training.

The Government advice in the event of a terrorist attack is to “Run, Hide, Tell”.  Advice is all well and good, but no one truly knows what they would do until the unthinkable happens.

Human beings are mammals and we act the same as other mammals when faced by danger, we either “Fight or Flight”.  The course of action one takes is based on a lot of external influences, such as: The threat, our personality, who we are with, other dangers and previous experience and training.

Previous experience and training are perhaps the most effective influences.  Study after study confirms that individuals who have had military or police training react differently in a crisis than people who have not.  When all else fails, they will fall back on the drills that they learned, even if, in some cases, those drills were a lifetime ago.

There is also the initial reaction, which comes before the “Fight or Flight” phase, a reaction that is often not known about or understood.  This recognized phase is called “Freeze”. This is a period when the brain makes a critical decision to either fight or flee.  In trained individuals, this decision period occurs in a very short time window, again, dependent on experience and training.  Individuals who have been in Special Forces or exposed to a high volume of operations often make decisions faster than those who have not, which is to be expected.

But what happens if you can’t flee or fight?  There have been a number of high-profile attacks in recent times, where the vast majority could do neither, because of barriers such as: Collapsed buildings, the presence of armed individuals blocking potential escape routes, or injuries sustained by yourself or someone you know. The horrific attack on the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, in 2016, and the attack on the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall, in 2013, are prime examples.

People died in both these situations, from what we now know were treatable blood loss injuries.  In other words, death was a result of bleeding that could have been stopped by someone with the correct training and experience. This includes the victim.

Soldiers on a modern battlefield are trained and expected to administer self-help as soon as they can, this action has saved lives numerous times.  Casualties are able, in horrific circumstances, to receive lifesaving first aid treatment, which is enough to stabilize them before any medic, or doctor is able to see them.

The casualty survival rates for the Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars are mind blowing when compared to earlier conflicts.   The difference between the two Gulf Wars is significant, to say the least.   Survivability is just as dependent on what happens in the first 2 to 3 minutes following the injury, as it is the 3 to 4 hours of surgery back in an operating theater.  In fact, without that initial intervention, the surgery will not happen or even be necessary because the patient will be lost.

The battlefield has now moved, to an arena populated by people who, for the most part, have very little training and wouldn’t know what to do if someone was bleeding in front of them.  Paris, Nice, Brussels, Nairobi, Orlando, Boston, Madrid, Mumbai, and London.  Injured people caught up in these incidents had little or no idea as to what they needed to do to self-help. Some of the casualties in the Pulse nightclub attack were alive up until two hours after their injury.  The emergency services could not get to them because they were under fire themselves and attempting to prevent further casualties.  People could have easily been saved if they, or the people close to them, had even rudimentary knowledge of how to control catastrophic bleeding.

The real shame of this, is that it is not hard to obtain these skills.  It does not require years, months, or even weeks of training!  These skills can be taught, and more importantly, learned, in a few short hours with the right level of experienced trainers, combined with the correct equipment and knowledge.

Learning to manage the trauma of major blood loss can become second nature so that you can react instinctively when and if the situation arises, and it will keep, you, your friends and your family alive.

It’s not just attacks like shootings and bombings that apply, correct training will also save lives in any other situation which results in catastrophic blood loss, such as:  Accidents in the home, on the roads, in work, or just an incident that occurs in day to day life.

Catastrophic bleeding occurs when an artery or major blood vessel is cut.  This can easily happen at home or at work, but for some reason, many of your standard home or work first aid kits are ill-equipped to deal with such a trauma.

Again, a surprisingly little amount of specialist equipment is required.  Simple pressure techniques, proper bandages, and some clotting agents are all that is needed.

Why then, do so little people have this knowledge, what stops more people from obtaining it? Is it time? Is it cost? Is it lack of opportunity? Or is it attitude? “Not my problem”.

The cost of such items, including the training and skill to use them, can be obtained for less than £150, and take as little as two hours to learn. The equipment needed can fit into a jacket pocket or one of the compartments on a computer bag.  There are training providers who have the requisite knowledge and experience to train high numbers of people in the workplace very cheaply, so the opportunity is there if you look for it.

2 hours of training and the practice of carrying a small, effective First Aid kit can prevent a loved one, or someone you work with, from becoming a victim of violence or a serious accident.  Ultimately, the right knowledge could even save you.

Another terrorist attack will happen.  People will be caught up in it, and the major cause of loss of life will be catastrophic blood loss.  The general public can do nothing to stop the attack, but they can do something to minimize the loss of life, simply by being ready and having the right attitude.  So why not start preparing now?