During my time employed I gained a number of qualifications including two degrees, (one Msc Psychology). Through my own study I feel my teaching and course content has improved many times over.

None of us are the same people we were 10 years ago, and my training and ideas reflect that. I therefore decided to set up DESCAL8 to develop the concept of de-escalation alongside Positive Behaviour Support.

Since 1994 I have been leading workshops and training courses in a variety of settings across the care industry and beyond. Running a variety of workshops and courses, including but not limited to:

Fantastic 3 day workshop! Learnt many new skills, strategies and different approaches, enabling people to work more effectively in supporting the varied needs of students. Very knowledgable course tutor with a person centred approach, that made each step of the course entertaining providing unforgettable experiences!
— R.M. Teaching Assistant
  • Conflict management (and challenging behaviour) workshops

  • Positive Behaviour Support

  • Autism Awareness

  • Legal knowledge workshops

  • Communication skills

  • Staff support skills

  • Positive Approaches workshops

  • Physical avoidance and intervention skills

  • Restrictive Practice skills

  • Risk Assessment workshops

  • Open Space workshop facilitation

  • Bespoke courses with staff groups around specific individuals

  • Workshops designing bespoke plans with specific staff groups around individuals


I have attended training facilitated by Des Cooke on several occasions. I am continually impressed by his knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity. In my experience, he is an authority and an innovator in the fields of learning disability, challenging behaviour and Autism. I would highly recommend his services.
— E.M. - Psychologist & Trainer

Having personally delivered training to nearly 20,000 members of staff face to face in small groups, I have known the first name of everyone I have taught during the time I have taught them as I believe this is important.

This is a skill I have not witnessed any other trainer achieve, yet I believe it a fundamental level of respect for helping staff through this difficult subject matter.