evaluations & post training comments


developing positive relationships

It is very common for people to assume they know what we do - people say:

I have been on a course like that!

However, we do things differently …

D.ESCAL8™ (pronounced de-escalate) was formed in 2013.

While it is easy to say we are different, don't take our word for it - the following testimonials highlight the differences and the positive impact of our training.

Online Workshop Testimonials

the day was very interesting and informitive


M.J. Manager

It was a great day!! I wish we could have attended all 3days. Explained very well, easy to understand, very practical and useful. It's a complex course that has given us a hand in need. Thank you, Des!!


A.C. - PA

I have been working in care for 12 years. In that time I have been trained with a number of companies delivering training on de-escalation techniques and physical restraint procedures.
Since moving more formally into the disability sector and becoming a service manager I have been struck by how inappropriate these methods are to children with a learning disability and autism. They neither take into account the additional difficulties these children face or the impact these difficulties can have on behaviour. They also do not consider the stress that restraint puts on that child leading to possible further escalation.
As a manager I now get to decide what training to have and when D.ESCAL8 was suggested to me I admit to thinking “what’s new?” I felt that this was another programme designed for ‘naughty children’. When I spoke to Des I understood the ethos but it sounded a bit ‘pie in the sky’.
When I finally commissioned some bespoke training in September 2015 I ate my words. I was impressed with the content, the presentation, the personalisation of information and the unique ability of the trainer to humanise the work we do.
I immediately commissioned another full course to train my entire staff team to ensure that we all signed up to this way of working. To understand where behaviour comes from and how to respond appropriately and sensitively. I enjoyed the confidence that came from this and the realisation that sometimes to walk away, ‘give in’ and ‘not win’ were all considered ‘best practice’. This changed the mind-set of the staff team. They suddenly felt empowered and re-connected with the way they feel they should be looking after disabled children.
More than a month after training the staff are still buzzing. They have used this and I am heartened to hear them talking about behaviour and planning for behaviour in the way the training has taught them. Ofsted also visited us the day after we completed the training and were impressed with our decision to step outside the mould for Plymouth and commission such an innovative training course for what is and will always be a very sensitive and delicate area of care for such a vulnerable group of children.
I am delighted to say that this training has transformed a tired and anxious team into a positive and confident one.



When I first went on the course I couldn't see how it would work but after listening on how to look at situations from other angles and how to defuse situations before they escalated it made senseThank you for changing MY mindset

Teaching assistant

M.R. Teaching Assistant

Training was done in a relaxed environment so was earlier to learn, just wish we were able to do the full three days!!


J.L. - PA

It really was one of the best training courses I have ever attended! Des was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsive to the group and business needs. The biggest part for me was the ethos that came across throughout the course- moving into the social model of care, it is vital that staff attitude is genuinely person centred and considers their own conceptions about behaviour. De-escal8 captured this brilliantly and has improved my understanding of my own emotion and behaviours so that I can truly support individuals who display signs of distress. It was extremely refreshing to have the psychological and physical impact of working with people packaged together. It made a huge impact on the way I understand the need for emotional and physical intervention. If you are looking for a thorough training needs analysis, delivery of a course that is bespoke, training that enriches service delivery, builds confidence in staff and moves towards the social model of care I would highly recommend this training.



A great course giving in depth content from how to stop things escalating but if they do how to ensure the child/person in your care is safe as well as yourself

Behavioural technician

C.K. Behaviour Technician

The training was engaging and thought provoking throughout. Although I feel better prepared for any type of physical intervention, I also feel less likely to need it.


A.T. Teacher

Firstly apologies for my late feedback, I wanted time to reflect and digest what we learnt and how it compared to previous training i have had.

So: My previous experience of this type of training is built upon Skip and more recently PBM, in both cases I have managed packages of support that provide support to people who often found themselves in distressing situations and in all of my previous training we reverted to crisis management. When I first experienced PBM I described it as advanced compared to Skip, but essentially the results were the same - staff decide when somebody is in crisis and when to redirect them. I think the day to day work involved with PBM is spot on, establish primary and secondary responses to known behaviours and triggers does tend to keep people from distressing situations. It is the crisis management laden with defensive stances, that feels like a change. I never questioned it until d.escal8 and then it hit me like a sudden awakening. To treat a crisis in the same way as your prevention strategies makes this training truly holistic and now I have registered it it is the only way I can see physical interventions passing the ‘mum test’ - I would want my relatives treated with this level of respect.

In terms of the training I felt that Des was outstanding, he worked hard to bring the whole group off our emotional baseline and then taught us how to cope and react without affecting anybodies dignity. Initially I felt the group were hesitant and didn’t necessarily get it (myself included) but by the end of day 3 we were all engaged and mopping it up. In a previous role I was given some really great coaching by PBM tutors that were very thorough in ensuring we practised techniques over and over. However it wasn’t until my first real incident that I used any of the techniques and rather predictably my training went out the window and I reacted in my own distress. I learnt from that and adapted my approach, but with all of the teams I worked with going through similar experiences I know that scores of people would have used unlicensed techniques and justified it in the name of experience. By taking us off baseline Des gave us the opportunity to have that first experience in a safe environment and i felt that the whole group went away much more emotionally self aware.

Many thanks for an enlightening 3 day workout.





Des shared extensive experience and knowledge whilst presenting information in a practical way which the family were able to understand. the course has had a huge impact on the parents which in turn will help the young person they care for.

behaviour specialist/therapist

S.B. Behaviour Specialist / Therapist

Found the course very helpful and responsive to situations we sometimes find ourselves in

Senior support worker

S.S. Senior Support Worker

Really enjoyed the course, having done several other ‘physical intervention’ courses this one has made me question my thinking when supporting people when distressed

Practice leader (Registered Manager)

L.T. Practice leader (Registered Manager)

I have just completed 3 days training with De-escal8. I am always interested in innovative practice and the consideration of new approaches which this training certainly delivers. Des (the facilitator) has extensive real life experience, as well as sound underpinning knowledge all of which he imparts in an engaging and supportive manner. This has given me the confidence to continue to think ‘outside the box’ and reduced my anxiety about situations I might encounter. Anyone who works in the care industry or education should, in my opinion, do this training as a matter of course, but it will also benefit many other independent practitioners like myself. Thank you so much, I found it a hugely enjoyable and enlightening 3 days - time well spent!



I think the course was excellent, both theoretical and practical.Des is an excellent person with experience and understanding.This type of work needs courses with this intensity to prepare them for inevitable happenings.

Support Worker

J.M. Support Worker

I really enjoyed the course, Des was a fantastic trainer and knew how to engage the group well, theory side is very different from what we have known previously and practical was very interactive and engaging.

practice leader

K.A. Practice Leader

Course was fun and enjoyable and full of relevant information to use on the job

SEN teacher

R.E. SEN Teacher

Descal8 training brings care and support for people in distress into the 21st Century, by far the best training course I have ever attended, purely focussed on given control back to the people we support.

PBS Service Manager

J.S. PBS Service Manager

Really enjoyed the course as always.

Teaching Assistant

J.D. Teaching Assistant

Brilliant course. It has given me the confidence to remain calm when my son is very upset – keeping calm is the best thing for him.



One of the best courses I’ve been on in a long time, interesting, informative and funny. Really makes you think about how to handle difficult situations.

Teaching assistant

S.P. Teaching Assistant

It was great to finally be equipped with a set of skills that can be used with a person in distress. I loved that the focus was on relationship and it has resonated with me on many levels. I look forward to the update!

Speech and Language Therapist

K.D. SaLT - Speech and Language Therapist


Behaviour Therapist

A.B. Behaviour Therpist

So much better than the old 'hands on' restraint training I've been on. Safer and less stressful for both employee and client.

Support worker

M.W. Support Worker

I have to say that in our profession we are often given models of intervention to use and the theory behind them, but applying them in reality often fails. Your course helped me challenge my own belief system in understanding the psychological impact of ‘power’ in applying re-enforcement theory for children and young people with Learning disabilities. Your course provides a realistic interpretation of the work environment and how to remain calm and it certainly tests participants! Listening to your own experience and your realistic role plays certainly causes you to reflect on your own practice and how you will go forward to help carers in their roles. Thank you.



My experience on this course was one of intrigue and enlightenment. I was able to see through the different delivery styles how and where behaviours can stem from, how they can affect the individual, strategies to prevent distress from escalating and how to handle any situation that does arise, in a safe, dignified, positive and lawful manner.

Student Support Assistant

P.R. Study Support Assistant

The training was very informative and helpful. I really learnt a lot and enjoyed myself at the same time.


C.O. Teaching Assistant

This training programme was very full on with a lots of useful information which can become very useful if and when required and approved by our managers. I really enjoyed the journey on this training course.

Study Support Assistant

J.S. Study Support Assistant

very good course

student support assistant

C.O. Study Support Assistant

I highly recommend the training to any professional who works with children where their presentation needs to be safely managed in such a way that actually supports that young person and staff. The training was very refreshing, providing new ways to manage a range of behaviours. This is done by first fully understanding the Young Persons needs through close analysis of ‘why’ the Young Person presents in a particular way. We were also able to link presentation to other issues such as sensory, communication and also routines. By fully understating this first, we are able to taylor our approach resulting in incidents being carefully and safely managed. By understanding first the person’s needs, we were able to taylor our approach to de-escalate before any physical intervention. The ethos around any physical intervention has been well thought out and tested. The training was delivered very well and has supported my ability as a practitioner so keep myself and the Young People safe.



This course gives a self assurance and confidence to protect myself and the students in my care. I will surely recommend it to schools and colleges with challenging behaviour students.

SSA supported learning

M.A. Study Support Assistant



K.K. Study Support Assistant

I have been on the course and update courses many times and I always come away with an improved and refreshed knowledge. Des's explanation and examples makes more complex material understandable and relative to the job role.

Teaching Assistant

A.M. Teaching Assistant

I have attended physical intervention courses in the past but this was by far the best training course. The trainer was very good by making it very realistic and providing theoretical information so that there was a rationale for all of the actions. The techniques were very different to my previous training but the trainer explained why they would be more effective and safe. There were many demonstrations and modelling before we practiced the techniques. The final day involved some very realistic role play performed by the trainer - it was invaluable. Having been involved in a few incidents in the workplace, I wished I had access to this training course before! I left this training course feeling more confident and knowledgeable about being involved in a range of potentially difficult scenarios. Everyone working in learning disabilities and SEN should do this training.

Speech and Language Therapist

E.K. SaLT - Speech and Language Therapist

I really enjoyed the training , learnt some new moves which i hadn't done in any other training

study support assistant SSA

T.M. Study Support Assistant

I intend using you for all my staff as an essential part of our training requested by CQC



my experience was amazing. I learnt so much in the 3 days of training and it was a real eye opener.

Support education mentor/ support worker

W.W. Support Worker

I have learned a great deal on the course. Not only how to remain calm in certain circumstances but understanding why they may arise. Despite having many years working in education, this course gave me a new perspective and a different way to look and understand things such as ACEs.


C.M. Teacher

West Wales Open Workshop

DATE: 7-9 December 2020

Narberth Area

This course is FULL - Register for the waiting list

Register here to reserve your place for the next course
  • Research Based
    Relax in the knowledge this is our specialty
  • Physical & Emotional Safety
    Provide a safe environment for your staff and those they support
  • Behavioural at the core
    Delivery and content matches behavioural science

Restraint Reduction Network

Our Foundation course, 'Supporting Individuals in Distress,' is Certified by the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards that are administered by BILD - they can be found here

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