The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework is made up of three areas of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. This post is the final in a series of three, and examines the third level—tertiary prevention, or individualized support.




Tertiary supports are specialized and intensive for individuals who exhibit very high-risk behaviors. In many cases, individuals who require individualized supports have significant histories of academic and behavioral difficulties over an extended period of time, and equal only a small percentage of the whole (up to five percent). Individualized support for these individuals can include measures such as: 


  • Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs)the gathering of details about the events that predict and maintain behavior. This information is used to design Behavior Intervention Plans.
  • Functional Analysis—the process whereby a behavior analyst systematically changes potential controlling factors to observe effects on a person’s behavior.
  • Behavior Intervention Plans—a concrete plan of action for managing a student's behavior.
  • Wraparound Programs or Services—a comprehensive and adaptable plan that addresses an individual’s domains at home, at school, and within the community, as well as the individual’s basic needs; safety; and social, emotional, educational, spiritual, and cultural needs. (Read more about wraparounds on
  • Alternatives to Suspension or Expulsion—such as intensive social and/or academic skills development.

Individualized supports are typically planned, developed, and implemented outside the moment of a crisis and over a period of time by a team in order to better identify patterns of behavior and to collect data for demonstrating success as well as areas that need improvement.


All verbal intervention strategies taught within the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program are applicable at the tertiary level. For the small percentage of individuals whose behavior escalates into physical aggression, CPI’s Personal Safety TechniquesSM and Nonviolent Physical Crisis InterventionSM strategies can be used to maximize the safety of all involved in crisis situations.

One of the most powerful tools within the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program is the CPI COPING ModelSM. Staff’s effective use of this model can help the team uncover patterns in the student’s behavior, as well as patterns of behavior in team responses.


Read more about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports on our Knowledge Base page.

The information gathered through the use of the CPI COPING ModelSM can be shared with team members who are responsible for developing individualized supports such as those described above.

What policies and procedures has your school implemented for individualized intervention? Please share in the Comments section your experiences and challenges with developing targeted supports for this small percentage of those in your care.