Thursday, 28 August 2014

Do we need a Positive Behaviour Support Academy for England?

A short post, and in the spirit of making a new proposal as widely available as possible to the intellectual disability community in the UK (and England specifically).

I’m not claiming this as my idea at all, but there is a nice synergy with my recent discussion piece about the idea of Improving Access to Positive Behaviour Support if you want to take a look at that too.

It is also important to say that the proposal document has been put together quickly by a volunteer group and it does not represent the views of a particular organisation. All we are trying to do is to get the idea out there along with some thoughts we had that flesh out the idea to a reasonable level of detail. If the idea is taken up (commissioned?) by someone with power and access to funding, I think the idea of a PBS academy should belong to the ID/LD community in England and not be seen as a proposal from someone or some group in particular. Someone else might well lead the next stages of development of the Academy if it takes off.

Fingers crossed that something will happen!

There is plenty of detail that could be added to this PBS Academy proposal, and I hope that there is the chance for it to be shaped by feedback over time (because that’ll mean it might happen!) and for consultation with all stakeholders. The proposal is shared in its imperfect state in the hope it is useful and helps to provide a focus for a PART of the solution to the Winterbourne View nightmare.

In the interests of transparency, the main authors of the paper were myself and Prof David Allen but mostly because we agreed to take on that practical role. Direct feedback and ideas for the current version of the paper were also contributed by Peter Kinsey (CMG), Viv Cooper, (CbF), Prof Peter McGill (Tizard Centre), and Bob Tindall (United Response). Many other people also contributed directly or indirectly through conversations over the past few months, but they are too numerous to mention. I hope that this clarifies that the paper is an idea articulated by a number of dedicated people, but it isn’t owned by them.


  1. Please can you reupload that academy paper as its not downloading as it reports an error.

  2. Thank you - hopefully this was a temporary problem as I've just clicked on the link and it worked.

  3. if you still have problems - anybody - just email me directly

  4. Hi Richard thanks very much for posting this for discussion. I think the idea is fantastic and as is argued will pull together the many strands that are happening across the country. I am particularly pleased to see the mention of early intervention, this type of academy will be extremely useful to support children and their families already known in services who will need quality specialist local support that is evidence based.
    Would the academy also be a repository and resource to support the work happening at local and national level related to professional programmes? Potentially the academy could support health and allied professionals in pulling together this work to influence the depth and content of PBS for all professional working in PBS.
    I welcome the idea and hope it becomes a reality. Happy to help in anyway possible!

  5. Thank you Joann for the positive feedback. Yes, the idea would be to create essentially a national agreement about competencies - and a part of that is the focus on individual professionals' competencies in PBS at a variety of levels. One flow through that would achieve the overall vision would be then professional training courses for LD professionals at UG and PG levels to link their PBS training elements to the national competencies framework. It might then also be possible for some courses to design pathways that ensure all the relevant competencies are demonstrated. So, I'd personally hope then to see University (and other training provider) pathways or programmes accredited by the Academy.

    The proposal really is about bringing everything together nationally to make the biggest impact and finally to deliver for people with LD and challenging behaviour and their families/carers.

  6. Dear Professor Hastings,
    Thanks for putting this paper out, the PBSAE idea has much to commend it and I'd support it wholeheartedly. I have no idea whether the financial section is realistic, but I'm sure it's based on detailed calculations. This is why you're a professor and I'm not!
    Is there anything people can do to promote this idea, do you think?

    Mike Richardson
    Senior Nurse
    Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

  7. Like all good "business" plans, the costings are very accurate and realistic! Seriously, we did think carefully about this and also wanted to make sure it was clear that such an idea can't just be supported with a Yes, Great, have £50k and go away. This just wouldn't be good enough. It is a serious proposal designed to stand a chance of delivering change...

    Great that you like this idea anyway!

    At the moment, we're just trying to get the proposal out to as many people as possible and to create some ground-up support too that may convince people in positions of power to go for it. So, please do spread the word as far as you can.