Des Cooke MSc, BSc, PGDip, PGCPSE, Dip IT, CTLLS.

Founder of D.ESCAL8 2013


Employment History

09.2015 to present - BILD Accredited Trainer - British Institute Learning Disabilities Accreditation Scheme.

09.2013 to present - Director D.ESCAL8, responsible for all operations.

11.2012 to present - Shared Lives / Adult Placement Carer.


The majority of experts and trainers in my field reduce their contact as front-line carers over time, resulting in them having no ‘real life’ experience of caring for individuals on a day to day, ongoing basis. I have made a conscious decision to keep engaging in the caring role.  As such, I am an approved Shared Lives / Adult Placement Carer for West Wales Adult Placement Services.

My family and I welcome individuals into our home with varying backgrounds,  situations and diagnoses. My family have shared their lives with individuals on the autistic spectrum and those with mental health conditions, Down’s Syndrome and acquired brain injury, as examples.

We all find that this role, although sometimes challenging, very rewarding, satisfying and often fun.

We have a lovely lady on permanent placement and a number of regular short break visitors. 

I also am one of two Pembrokeshire reps on the West Wales Shared Lives Consultative group. I represent all the Pembrokeshire carers and our group have representation on the three county shared lives board.

Really excellent course and Des is an exceptional Facilitator and Trainer. The three days were extremely challenging and thought provoking but also really enjoyable and clearly vital for anyone working with vulnerable individuals. Des puts the relationship first and his techniques help to question established approaches where the needs of those in the care of others is sometimes lost due to behaviour or environments that can be challenging. Highly recommend it to any employer providing care services to vulnerable individuals.
— A.P. Director
Reading the Testimonials from other course participants I thought Des had cherry picked the best for a positive opinion. Having been on the course I know that the Feedback is genuine and if you are in doubt go and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed!
— A.W. - Teacher & PI Instructor

09.1994 to 07.2013 - Lead Trainer and Senior Behaviour Management Consultant for Studio III Training Systems.

  • Facilitating adult training across UK, Ireland and abroad across all settings in the care industry. Including working with translators both foreign and sign language.

  • Assessment of service users on a one to one basis and creation of reactive strategies to manage behaviours staff found particularly difficult to cope with.

  • Creation of policies for individual services around behaviour management and use of physical interventions.

  • Headed training development with German national training provider, teaching, qualifying and ongoing development of the German training team.

  • Lead syllabus consistency within the internal and external trainers qualified in the company system.

  • Organised and managed Continuing Professional Development across all training teams.

  • Facilitated CPD events for both internal and external trainers with occasional public attendance.

  • Designed, created and maintained a ‘Trainers’ web application for all Studio III Trainers and outside affiliated ‘Train the trainers’.

  • Designed, created and maintained bespoke record keeping and case management online software.



Along with a Psychology MSc. I also have qualifications in Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming and a number of postgraduate qualifications including: child development; research methods; cognitive psychology; cognition - damaged brains and neural networks; digital communications.

Neuro Linguistic Programming - Master Practitioner

Des is a fantastic trainer who delivers course content in an engaging way which meets all learning styles. His knowledge of the subject was above and beyond including psychology, law, case examples, research and much more! I particularly enjoyed the role plays which was an invaluable way of learning, I don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say the pressure you’re put under compares to VERY realistic situations which was an invaluable learning experience!
— E.H. Psychologist


  • Positional Asphyxia Course
  • Sensory Process Disorder Awareness Diploma


  • Dementia: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour
  • Adults at risk (Safeguarding – Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA))
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Des as a trainer is engaging, knowledgable and compelling. He challenges preconceived ideas and provokes mind set change with astounding efficiency. I have attended other “physical intervention” courses in the past. D.ESCAL8 provides an alternative so far superior you will wonder why it isn’t the only option.
— A.I. - BCBA
  • I have a current First Aid Certificate and up to date Epipen training
  • Learning Disability Equality awareness training
  • Mental Capacity Act training
  • Quality Management System Training


  • Epilepsy Awareness Training
  • Food Safety and Hygiene Course
  • Skills for Care (original member of physical interventions focus group)
  • SCIF (Social Care Induction Framework – working group in West Wales)


  • Neuro Linguistic Programming – Master Practitioner
  • The Open University
    • Master of Science in Psychology (F15)
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Social Sciences (D41)
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education (C27)
    • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Open (BD)
    • Diploma in Information Technology (D38)
    • Exploring cognition: damaged brains and neural networks (DS871)
    • Cognitive psychology (D309)
    • Child development in families, schools and society (ED840)
    • Introduction to research: basic skills and survey methods (DT840)
    • The challenge of the social sciences (D820)
    • Digital communications (T305)
    • Information technology and society (THD204)


Work affords me the ability to enjoy travelling and seeing new places. I live on a smallholding in rural Pembrokeshire with my wife and son, Miles, who is home educated.

Once a week I help to run a ‘Games’ night in our local village, which caters for children aged 4 and upwards. I also enjoy helping at a martial arts Club in a local comprehensive school as part of their ‘5x60’ initiative which aims to encourage young people to be more active.

In my spare time I enjoy being a member of the local canoe and judo clubs along with both of my sons. I am also involved in the local Transition group.

A current DBS certificate (Disclosure and Barring Service, previously CRB) can be seen upon request.

For all areas I work in please see