A new way of working with IKON makes training simpler for you


In-house training programmes

The new Retained Resource service from IKON provides organisations with specialist trainers in-house for as long as they’re needed.

‘It’s like having an in-house training team without having to recruit, train or manage it,’ says Louise Ballard.

The idea is that Retained Resource makes it simpler for people to manage training needs, budgets and financial forecasting.

‘After 15 years in business, we decided that it was time to look at how we worked with our clients, not just the training we offered them. We’ve reviewed our service offering and launched some new ways of engaging with IKON.  Retained Resource came directly out of that.’ Louise Ballard explains,

‘Most of our clients work with us on a continuing basis. This is great for us, of course, but we wanted to come up with a service that simplified things for them.’

Retained Resource can be beneficial when an organisation is preparing for an inspection or report because it enables them to demonstrate that the necessary training skills are in place and that top-ups and renewals are prepared for.

‘We believe that Retained Resource will turn out to be an easier and more cost-effective way of buying training and managing budgets for many of our clients,’ says Louise Ballard

6 ways to keep lone workers safe

1 – Share your policy

A lone working policy is a document that provides guidance and support for employees that work alone. Although it’s not a legal requirement, an effective policy can help to promote a strong safety culture among employees, in order to keep them safe and reduce the risk of legal issues.

2 – Assess the risks of the role

Ensure that you carry out thorough risk assessments for each lone working role. The assessments should cover the risk associated with a particular job and the environment in which they work.
Adapt the risk assessment if the lone worker is pregnant, under 18 or has a disability.

3 – Equip lone workers correctly

Make sure that you have proven and tested systems in place:

  • Accurate monitoring with check in/check out facilities
  • Personal alarms – so that the lone worker can get fast and effective assistance in an emergency
  • GPS tracking – so that you can keep track of your lone worker’s location
  • accurate records of emergency contact numbers, including out-of-hours if appropriate

4 – Provide training and advice

Lone workers need training on how to work safely.
This must cover dealing with risks, recognising danger signs, how to act in an emergency and how to de-escalate a difficult situation if needed. 

Lone workers should also be advised on safe lone working practices and any procedures to ensure their safety, including how to use personal alarms. 

If an employee feels they have not been shown how to do a task safely, they should request training from their employer before attempting it.

5 – Encourage openness and communication

Prevention is the best cure and lone workers are often best placed to identify safety risks. It’s the employer’s responsibility to encourage openness and facilitate communication with and between lone workers in order to create an environment in which people feel safe to report risk.

6 – Know when lone working is not ok

Working alone may not be appropriate in high-risk situations, for example if lone workers are likely to encounter people prone to aggressive behaviour, with mental health problems or individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

5 tips for a successful inspection

Conflict Resolution Training, Kings College Hospital London

The Health and Safety Executive is in the process of inspecting NHS organisations to ensure they are meeting statutory requirements regarding protecting staff and others.

Violence and aggression

HSE inspections are being focused on areas of high risk where violence and aggression are seen as significant issues. 

The best path to a successful inspection is to be on top of your obligations at all times, not just when an inspection is due. 

  • create a strategy
  • continually assess the risks
  • remain vigilant and proactive

1 – Delegate

Nominate someone at director level who has overall responsibility for managing violence and aggression in the trust. They will require an experienced deputy (violence and aggression manager) to provide the hands-on support, skills, knowledge and experience of managing violence and aggression.

If you need external support, IKON has significant experience of providing risk-assessed training needs analysis. We already carry out this role with a significant number of NHS clients. Prior to engagement, one of our senior team will discuss your specific requirements and provide advice and recommendations.Following engagement, we offer feedback and ongoing support to all our clients. The process will also need the support of an internal committee to oversee the process and to build support across the organisation on an ongoing basis.

2 – Plan

Plan your violence and aggression policy and share the plans with staff. This will help staff know how you plan to manage it and reassure them about your commitment.

Your violence and violence and aggression policy should clearly state who is responsible for what, when and how.

The policy should be as simple as possible so that everyone can understand and comply with it. You may need to enhance the basic policy with a security, lone worker and restraint/rapid tranquilisation policy depending on your trust’s services and local requirements.

You should ensure staff have access to these policies and where necessary training or information on the relevant procedures to enable a fast, confident response to any situation.

IKON has significant experience around violence and aggression policies and procedures. We analyse our client’s policies and procedures and ensure they are incorporated into our training programmes to bring relevance for the delegates. Over the years we have consulted, advised and even written policies for our clients.

3 – Assess

Risk assessments should be carried out according to staff role and locations. Departments should have a nominated person to carry out risk assessments, which should be collated and coordinated by the violence and aggression manager.

Risk assessments highlight what is being controlled adequately and what is not. It’s about identifying sensible measures to control the risks adequately.

The law does not expect you to remove all risks, but it does expect you to protect people by putting in place relevant measures to control those risks, providing they are reasonably practical.

In our experience, Trusts can have poor inspection outcomes because they have not carried out effective risk assessments or have not fulfilled their obligations regarding the identified control measures. A training need is recognised to reduce the risk but not carried out or maintained adequately.

IKON recommends a tailored program based on your risk assessments, incident reports, policies and procedures and staff feedback/experience. We can help and advise on your risk assessment and training needs analysis to ensure compliance and improved staff safety.

4 – Act

When you have established all the risks (if any) within the workplace, it is important to act on them accordingly and take the relevant steps to reduce the risks.

Inform your colleagues of any changes to the plan/policy and their requirements. If you have a response or security team, ensure people know how and when to access their help.

Provide training and information, you must provide clear instructions, information, and adequate training, so that everyone understands how they can work safely and keep safe. If there is a restraint policy, then relevant staff will need relevant training.

IKON can provide posters and documents to help bring these requirements to the attention of staff. We have also provided support at staff forums, violence and aggression committee meetings and delivered workshops to provide guidance to teams.

5 – Report and review

It is essential that all incidents are reported, no matter how trivial they may seem.

Reporting forms the basis of assessing the prevalence of violent episodes. When an incident is reported, strategies to modify behaviour can be developed.

Reporting the incident and recording the facts to the appropriate person e.g. supervisor or police is imperative to prevent this happening to others or yourself in the future.

The more you report incidents the easier it is to identify risks. Do not give up reporting even if it appears that no action is being taken. If fewer incidents are reported than occurred your employer may not take the situation seriously.

You should also report near misses and non-physical assaults. Often low-level aggression is a precursor to higher-level aggression. Near miss reporting can help to identify trends and triggers and enable changes to practice to avoid future escalation.

In effect if there are no reports there are no incidents.

Post-incident reviews are a critical process of the incident lifecycle. Your teams can’t improve without retrospective, blameless analysis of incident response and remediation. Teams can improve their ability to manage violence and aggression by recording incident details to enable post-incident reviews that improve the experience for people.

Analysis is only one part of the post-incident review process. But understanding the shortcomings of your policies and procedures, alongside an understanding of your team’s response leads to a more holistic process for continuous improvement.


New NHS Bullying and Harassment training course

NHS Bullying and harassment training course, Kings College Hospital London

IKON’s new NHS Bullying and Harassment training course has been created to help people working in the NHS understand what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace.

‘We’ve read an increasing number of NHS staff surveys that show that there are people who don’t feel safe at work,’ explains Jason Keeley, IKON Training’s Managing Director. ‘At the same time, they’re not confident about speaking up or whistleblowing because they’re afraid of jeopardising their careers.
Our Bullying and Harassment course clearly defines the issues and the laws that surround them. It also explains the hows, when and whys around incident reporting.’
IKON works with more than 40 NHS Trusts across the country and uses this experience to create courses and training programmes which are appropriate to the needs of those people who work in the NHS.

‘Currently, it seems as if all NHS staff are feeling the pressure of budget cuts and restricted resources,’ says Jason Keeley. ‘This pressure has a number of ways of showing itself and some individuals seem unable to behave in ways that are acceptable to those working with them.
This course has been designed to help them build a working culture around kindness, consideration and respect for others.’