What to Expect from an Instructor Programme

November 5, 2021
Lucy Parker
Man sitting at a table in a coffee shop at his laptop holding a coffee cup

What to expect

When we have new starters at CPI International, we offer them an opportunity to try out our training so they can get a feel for the programmes we offer and the people we work with. This is Lucy Parker's account of how she found her training after starting at CPI as a Customer Service, Quality and Validation Specialist.

When I was asked to go on to the Safety Intervention training, I will admit I was a little daunted as I had not been on anything like that before.

However, I knew from the beginning that there were elements that I was not going to have to do (such as the teach backs) as I was not going to be an instructor, and so the pressure was off a little.

Personally, the only experience I have had with dealing with challenging behaviours has been in a home setting with three young children, one of whom is on the autistic spectrum. So when I was offered the opportunity to actively participate and learn skills that I could actually apply, I was really pleased. It was also going to be useful to see what the course covered as in my day job in customer support, I need to answer queries on elements of it.

The venue for training was Crewe Hall which was ideal for me as it was only a half hour drive away; plenty of parking, lunch and refreshments included. Due to Covid, I had not had the opportunity to meet anyone and as I was on an ‘open’ event (meaning the course was open to customers from various organisations), I didn’t know anyone, or what to expect on the course.

Fortunately for me, the group of people I was with were all very friendly; some of them were from the same organisations, but there were a few who were the sole representative from their organisation.

Blended Instructor Programme

Our trainer Joe was fabulous and spent time introducing himself and going through the timetable of events for the next three days. The training was intensive and there is a lot to take in, but as I was on a blended instructor programme, I had completed the online portion of the course prior to attending the training, so I was familiar with some of the content.

The training is broken down into covering one module at a time, then doing an exercise such as role play, or considering scenarios which helps to embed the knowledge.

Throughout the course, I noticed my thought processes changing, and this was before we even got to the physical and holding skills.

I really can’t express enough how useful the verbal intervention strategies are in terms of setting boundaries and helping to de-escalate situations. Things like ‘now and then’, they sound simple but have such a big effect.

Recognising triggers

Recognising triggers and being able to spot signs in terms of body language, such as someone fidgeting or pacing up and down.

I’ve used some of these techniques in my own life with my children and the volume in the house has decreased somewhat now that they have clearer boundaries. Other people on the course were sharing their experiences too, and it really helped us all to bond together.

The physical and holding skills were intensive; first we were shown the skill by Joe and then we had to do it for ourselves.

You will get to hear the same phrases repeated to you; it became ingrained in my head when Joe kept saying ‘‘what am I doing…my position is off to the side, my posture is stable and balanced, my proximity is managed with a metre space in between. I have something on the outside, something on the inside, hold and stabilise."

As this course is so interactive, you have no choice but to become involved and I’ll admit that by the end of the day I was tired.

There is an exam which needs to be completed at the end of the first day, but it only took 20 minutes or so and it showed that I had retained quite  a lot of things that I hadn’t realised until I was asked questions on them.

Teach backs

The last day was all about us as learners as we had to take a module each and then teach it back to the rest of the class (this is the bit I didn’t need to do as I wasn’t going to be an instructor).

All in all, I had a really enjoyable time on my course and while it is full on with lots of things to cover in a relatively short space of time, it was very well put together.

Although I knew that I was not going to be an instructor and asked to deliver the training, I certainly took away some fresh knowledge and have been able to actively apply it. It’s definitely a great course to invest in as the skills learned (both verbal and physical) are invaluable.

So thanks to CPI and of course Joe who got me from a complete novice to being able to pass exams on the subject in a very short frame of time! 

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