BILD Accreditation - Nationally Recognised Standard - or not? Governement agencies from December 2011 have retrospectively removed any mention of Bild accreditation.
At Silvermill we regularly get individuals and organisations contact us to enquire about physical intervention / restraint training. One of the questions we are sometimes asked is whether or not we are BILD Accredited, to which the answer is no. When we ask why they ask one of the most common answers we get is that they believe that they are only allowed to use BILD accredited trainers because BILD accreditation is some kind of ‘Nationally Required Standard' supported by various Government Departments, that all training providers should possess.
This is no to say that BILD do not do a good job. On the contrary, BILD do excellent work, but there seems to be a myth perpetuating through the physical intervention world that BILD has somehow attained ‘Nationally Recognised Accreditation' status, and indeed, according to BILD themselves, is the "only Nationally Recognised Accredited Scheme" in the UK supported by Government Departments, namely the DoH, DfES and CSCI, and it is this specifically that which this article intends to address, as it is this specifically that is very possibly creating an unnecessary liability for unsuspecting organisations and individuals who look to reduce their liability by using ‘approved' and ‘accredited' agencies.
This myth is also perpetuated by many individuals in positions of influence who are unknowingly creating a liability for many organisations by giving advice and guidance on something they know
little or nothing about.
The reality is that BILD accreditation is only recognised by BILD itself. It is not a standard that is supported, regulated, endorsed or promoted by the DoH and / or the DfES and / or CSCI, or indeed any other Government Department. It is merely a system of accreditation by association.
Furthermore, BILD is not itself a ‘Governing Body' with Governing Body Mandate. This means that it is not, and should not be, recognised as a ‘National Source' for the development, endorsement, enforcement and policing of standards or techniques in physical intervention, nor can it award instructional and or coaching awards in physical intervention / restraint, similar to what other Nationally Recognised Governing Bodies are mandated to do for their respective professions.
The drawback for commissioning agencies (local authorities, care homes, etc) is that they may decide to engage the services of BILD accredited individuals and training providers on the basis that they believe they are accredited to a nationally recognised and competent standard. However they are not, and as a result if commissioning agencies are only basing their due diligence on whether or not someone is BILD accredited they could most possibly be engaging the services of someone who is not officially accredited to a recognised instructional or coaching standard, but only solely on compliance with whether or not their training complies with the BILD code of practice.
This is not to say however, that anyone accredited by BILD is necessarily incompetent, but merely that BILD accreditation in itself is not an officially recognised national standard.
The fact is that the commissioning agency will always be solely and ultimately responsible and accountable for the training they implement and the training provider they use.
The misconception about BILD accreditation therefore can and does leave many commissioning agencies vulnerable and open to liability if they believe that they can only use BILD accredited training providers because such training providers will have ‘attained' some form of ‘Nationally Recognised Standard' in relation to physical intervention training.
As many of you reading this will already know we, Silvermill, are not BILD Accredited, nor are we likely to become so, as we know that BILD Accreditation is not a Nationally Recognised Accreditation scheme.
Therefore I thought I would just write a few lines to clarify these issues based on correspondence that we and our colleagues have received from CSCI (DoH), the DfES and BILD itself.
Question 1: Is BILD Accreditation a Nationally Recognised Qualification or Scheme for Physical Intervention Trainers?
BILD's opinion: "At present the BILD Scheme is the only national accreditation scheme for trainers in physical intervention.
The BILD scheme is supported by the DH/DfES through the joint guidance on the use of PI in services for children/adults with Learning Disability/Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Pupils with Special Educational needs. I have attached a copy of the guidance for your information
As stated above, the DoH/DfES sponsored the development of the scheme and maintain an active interest in it.
In addition, CSCI have included in their guidance to inspectors around the use of PI, comments on accredited status of training provided to care services.
DfES opinion dated 29 November 2006:
"You state that BILD are promoting their Nationally Recognised status on the basis that it is approved and accredited by the DfES. I am able to confirm, once again, that DfES is unable to approve or accredit any provider in this field, and that it is for the commissioner themselves to determine the appropriateness of the training against local need. I can also confirm that DfES officials do not sit on BILD's accreditation panel."
(Name and contact details from the DfES withheld.)
CSCI's opinion on behalf of DoH: 1 November 2006:
"The CSCI does not support specific trainers. BILD trainers are not universally endorsed by this statement. In short, whether or not staff have been trained in a particular method of restraint by an accredited training agency is not the most important factor; [their use of bold type, not mine] individual cases should be assessed on the basis of actual practice of restraint in the home and whether this practice meets the Regulations and Standards."
(Name and contact details from CSCI withheld.)
CSCI Children's Home Guidance Log November 2006 Version: Section 22.8: GUIDANCE, section 2 and 3 state:
2. "The expectation from the DfES/DH guidance regarding interventions with children (or adults) who have learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorders is that training should normally be provided by trainers who are accredited under the BILD Code of Practice on Training Staff in the use of Physical Interventions."
3. "For staff working with children with other categories of need (for example children with emotional and behavioural difficulties) restraint training does not require BILD accreditation, although any technique used must, of course, not breach the Regulations and Standards. CSCI does not (and will not) endorse any particular methods of restraint for legal reasons. Even if there is an exemplary model of restraint, this does not preclude inspectors from having concerns about the risk of harm being caused by any individual using it."
In summary, and with confirmation with CSCI, their ‘Guidance' in Section 22.8, sub-section 2 states that training should ‘normally be provided by trainers who are accredited under the BILD Code of Practice on Training Staff in the use of Physical Interventions' based on the assumption that this is the expectation of the DfES / DoH (note: CSCI reply on behalf of the DoH dated 1 November 2006).
However, the DfES have already stated that BILD's Nationally Recognised status is not one promoted by the DfES", and also that "DfES officials do not sit on BILD's accreditation panel". Therefore, where their own guidance states "normally be provided" this does not mean, and cannot mean ‘must be provided'. This is merely and only a recommendation based on the fact that CSCI think that BILD Accredited training is recognized and promoted by the DfES and DOH, which it is not.
Furthermore, CSCI, replying on behalf of the DoH state that: "The CSCI does not support specific trainers. BILD trainers are not universally endorsed by this statement. In short, whether or not staff have been trained in a particular method of restraint by an accredited training agency is not the most important factor; individual cases should be assessed on the basis of actual practice of restraint in the home and whether this practice meets the Regulations and Standards."
Therefore the answer to the question "Is BILD Accreditation a Nationally Recognised Qualification or Scheme for Physical Intervention Trainers" is No. Not according to the Departments that BILD themselves say approve and support their accreditation.
It is only a BILD specific scheme recognised by BILD itself for those training providers who wish to work in the registered learning disability and/or autistic spectrum disorder field.
2. Are CSCI Inspectors ‘qualified' or ‘competent' to advise on what type or which system of restraint should be used?
Reply from CSCI 13 September 2005:
"Starting with your final question, inspectors observations about the use of restraint will be based on the regulations and standards and other relevant documents such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Whether or not an inspector has received training in the use of physical restraint will depend very much on their own past experience and training. Such training is not part of the required training for inspectors."
(Name and contact details from CSCI withheld.)
Therefore the answer to the question "Are CSCI Inspectors ‘qualified' or ‘competent' to advise on what type or which system of restraint should be used?" is No, at least not according to CSCI.
CSCI Inspectors are not competent to give advice on what system of physical intervention you should or should not be using. All they can do is ‘subjectively' make an assumption as to whether or not your system and strategy of physical intervention meets with the Children's Homes Regulations and Standards and does not seem to be based on any formally structured methodology of assessment but primarily and only on an inspectors opinion, which, if they are not trained could very possibly not only be wrong, but also not in the best interests of the child.
Having carried out a number of ECFA (Effects and Casual Factors Analysis'), a health and safety accident investigation process, we have specifically identified that CSCI and HSE inspectors, as well as many managers responsible for implementing training, can, and have been, a casual or systematic factor in increasing risk and therefore the resultant harm to those whom they are mandated to protect. This is because some inspectors and managers are actually giving incompetent advice to agencies on what systems or intervention, or indeed even what specific techniques may and may not be used, when they are not competent to do so.
3. Is BILD a ‘Qualified' or ‘Competent' organisation to teach Physical Intervention / Restraint?
According to BILD:
They state: "We do not train you, we assess your ability to deliver training to other organisations within a framework of recognised best practice. If accredited you will be able to use your status as an accredited training organisation as a marketing tool. BILD do not teach physical intervention skills. BILD manages an accreditation scheme for training organisations who do teach such skills. BILD does provide training around the issues of behaviour support and the use of PI."
BILD do not teach physical intervention but assess your ability to deliver training? Isn't that the same as being assessed by a driving examiner who hasn't passed their driving test? By the way, if you look at the bottom of the information sheets of those organizations accredited by BILD you will note that it states the following: "This information has not been checked for accuracy, or evaluated, and it is not endorsed by BILD or the NAS."
Therefore, the answer to the question: "Is BILD a ‘Qualified' or ‘Competent' organisation to teach Physical Intervention / Restraint?" is No, at least not according to BILD