A blurred image of a young woman protecting herself

Breakaway Training in the UK


Breakaway training, also known as breakaway techniques or breakaway skills, refers to a set of strategies and physical techniques designed to help individuals safely and effectively disengage from physical confrontations or aggressive situations. This type of training is often utilized in various industries where employees may encounter potentially volatile situations, such as healthcare, education, security, and law enforcement. Its significance varies across different workplace environments, including:

  • Healthcare Settings: Breakaway training is crucial in healthcare settings where staff may encounter aggressive or violent behavior from patients or visitors. Healthcare workers need to know how to protect themselves and others while maintaining the safety and dignity of all involved.
  • Education Institutions: Teachers, school administrators, and support staff often deal with challenging behaviors from students. Breakaway training equips them with strategies to safely manage disruptive or violent incidents in classrooms or school premises.
  • Security and Law Enforcement: Security personnel and law enforcement officers require breakaway training to effectively handle hostile situations and restrain individuals without causing harm to themselves or others.
  • Customer Service and Retail: Employees in customer-facing roles may encounter irate or aggressive customers. Breakaway training helps them de-escalate conflicts and safely manage difficult situations to prevent harm to themselves, other customers, or property.
  • Social Services: Professionals working in social services, such as child protection or mental health support, may face confrontational or violent situations when dealing with clients or service users. Breakaway training enables them to respond appropriately while minimizing risk.
  • Corporate Environments: In corporate settings, breakaway training can be beneficial for employees who work in high-stress or volatile environments, such as security personnel in sensitive facilities or executives traveling to potentially risky areas.
  • Social Care: In social care settings staff can often encounter challenging behaviour for their service users, visitors, or members of the public. NNTC breakaway training would be beneficial for these staff as our training reflects the caring values of your organisation and includes no holding techniques.
  • Housing: Breakaway training is suitable for both general needs and supported housing staff.

The significance of breakaway training lies in its ability to:

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    Enhance personal safety

    Participants learn techniques to protect themselves from physical harm during confrontational situations.

    Minimize risk

    By providing individuals with strategies to de-escalate conflicts and safely restrain aggressive individuals, breakaway training helps minimize the risk of injury or harm to all parties involved.

    Promote confidence

    Training empowers individuals with the skills and confidence to effectively manage challenging situations, leading to better outcomes and reduced stress.

    Ensure legal compliance

    In many industries, employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Breakaway training helps organizations fulfil this duty by equipping staff with the necessary skills to handle aggression or violence appropriately.

    Overall, breakaway training plays a vital role in creating safer workplaces and protecting the well-being of employees and stakeholders across various industries.

    Our Approach to Breakaway Training

    • All our courses are tailored to reflect the needs and values of our clients. The course focuses as much on prevention of violence and aggression as it does escape techniques. The techniques are taught as a last resort and emphasises the importance of situational awareness, positive behaviour management and verbal and nonverbal de-escalation techniques.
    • The course is taught in a student-centred interactive style with the emphasis on building confidence and not fear. The techniques taught have been well researched and are safe and ethical. With our methods there is no intent to harm the other person; The main aim is to use simple movements to extricate yourself from a grab or hold or to use to defend against an assault, in order to get away from the situation.
    • The course can be accredited by OCNCredit4Learning. Alternatively certificates can be provided if requested.
    A blurred image of a young woman protecting herself

    The Primary Aim of Breakaway Training

    The primary objective of breakaway training is to empower individuals to protect themselves and others while minimizing the risk of harm. All NNTC Breakaway Training is delivered by accredited instructors with expertise in areas such as conflict resolution, self-defense, and risk management. The training will be tailored to the specific needs and risks of the participants’ roles within their organisation.

    Overall, breakaway training equips individuals with the skills and confidence to respond effectively to potentially threatening situations while prioritizing the safety and well-being of themselves and others.

    NNTC Breakaway Training typically involves instruction in a range of skills and techniques, including:

    Verbal De-escalation: Participants learn how to use effective communication techniques to defuse tense situations and prevent them from escalating into physical altercations. This may include strategies for active listening, empathetic responses, and setting clear boundaries.

    Non-physical Intervention: Trainees are taught how to employ non-physical intervention techniques, such as creating distance, using body language to assert authority, and employing calming gestures, to manage confrontational behavior without resorting to physical force.

    Risk Assessment and Decision-making: Breakaway training typically includes education on how to assess the level of risk in a given situation and make informed decisions about the appropriate course of action. This may involve considering factors such as the individual’s behavior, environment, and available resources.

    Managing Anxiety: Participants learn their natural responses to the anger of others and learn strategies to manage anxiety in order to respond professionally and achieve a positive outcome.

    Non-physical Intervention: Trainees are taught how to employ non-physical intervention techniques, such as creating distance, using body language to assert authority, and employing calming gestures, to manage confrontational behavior without resorting to physical force.

    Post-Incident Procedures: Participants are educated on the importance of following proper post-incident procedures, including reporting, documentation, and debriefing, to ensure accountability, learning, and continuous improvement.

    Who Would Benefit From Breakaway Training

    Employees in certain roles may face various risks that necessitate breakaway training. Here are some common scenarios where breakaway training may be essential and the associated risks:

    1. Healthcare Settings: Healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors, and aides, often encounter patients who may become agitated, confused, or combative due to illness, pain, or mental health issues. Risks include physical assaults, such as hitting, kicking, or biting, as well as the potential for injuries while attempting to restrain or assist patients.
    2. Social Care: Social Care Workers, often encounter service users who may become agitated, confused, or combative due to illness, pain, or mental health issues. Risks include physical assaults, such as hitting, kicking, or biting, as well as the potential for injuries while attempting to assist patients.
    3. Education Environments: Teachers, special education assistants, and school staff may encounter disruptive or aggressive behavior from students, particularly in special education settings or when dealing with emotionally volatile individuals. Risks include physical assaults, property damage, and the potential for escalation if confrontations are not managed effectively.
    4. Customer Service and Retail: Customer-facing roles, such as retail associates and service industry workers, may encounter irate or aggressive customers who are dissatisfied with products or services. Risks include verbal abuse, threats, and, in some cases, physical altercations if tensions escalate.
    5. Mental Health and Crisis Intervention: Professionals working in mental health facilities, crisis hotlines, or community outreach programs may encounter individuals experiencing acute mental health crises or emotional distress. Risks include unpredictable behaviour, self-harm threats, and the potential for violence if individuals become agitated or feel threatened.
    6. Transportation and Travel: Workers in transportation sectors, such as airline staff, public transit operators, and taxi drivers, may encounter disruptive passengers or situations that escalate into physical altercations. Risks include assaults, disturbances, and safety hazards if passengers become unruly or non-compliant.

    Benefits of Our Breakaway Training

    • Enhanced safety for both employees and clients/customers/Service Users
    • Reduction in injuries and liability risks
    • Improved confidence and preparedness in handling physical confrontations
    • Compliance with UK regulations regarding restraint and intervention

    Why Choose NNTC for Breakaway Training?

    • NNTC Has been delivering Breakaway Instructor training programs for over 12 years.
    • The NNTC Breakaway Training Course has been delivered to the NHS, Social Care, Housing and Probation Industries.
    • The NNTC Breakaway Training Course can be delivered as an accredited course the OCN Credit4Learning .
    The aim of the course is to equip delegates with the skills and the confidence to respond appropriately where their work may expose them to confrontational and physical assaults.
    Carry out a Self-risk assessment: evaluating the situation and the environment (PET).
    Share verbal and non-verbal skills and techniques for calming the anger of others.
    Understand the term reasonable force as applied to UK self-defence legislation.
    Demonstrate an effective defence stance and the use of personal space.
    Apply safe manoeuvres for disengaging from: Wrist grabs / Arm grabs / Clothing grabs / Hair pulls / Bear hugs / Strangle holds.
    Apply safe manoeuvres for dealing with: Bites / Punches / Kicks.
    State what violence at work is and the importance of reporting all incidents to your line manager.
    Other Information
    Duration 3 Hours – 1 Day
    Face to Face Training maximum number of delegates 12
    Public Courses – No.
    Certification is available through NNTC free of charge
    Accreditation is available through OCN Credit4Learning £20 per head.


    What are the pre-requisites for the course?


    Do you have to be physically fit to attend this course?

    No – the physicality is minimal

    Do you run public courses for an individual to attend?


    Is there a refresher course?

    Yes – we would recommend every 12 months initially followed by a biannual refresher

    Will there be an exam?

    No – assessment is made by tutor observation

    Would your trainer travel to us?


    What is the Maximum Number of Delegates allowed on the course?


    What materials will I receive from the course?

    A handout is available on request

    Is there a reduction in fees for charitable organisations?


    What should delegates wear for the course?

    Comfortable clothing. We do not insist that delegates wear tracksuit and trainers but to wear the clothes they carry out their duties in providing its not a tight skirt and high heels!