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The Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards 2019

The Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards 2019

“…We feel our son may not have died in vain. If we can make sure this never happens to anyone else, that would be an amazing legacy for Seni.”

Aji and Conrad Lewis, parents of Seni Lewis, who died as a result of prone restraint

The Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards 2019 have been written for training services delivered to education, health and social care services that support people with autism, learning disabilities, dementia and mental health conditions across the UK.

Whilst the UK has many excellent services providing person-centred therapeutic care, there have been too many shocking scandals exposing the unnecessary and inappropriate use of restrictive interventions.

These Standards have been written to put a stop to scandals and improve the lives of service users. But this will not become a reality without the input of people like you.  Until now, there has been no quality benchmark setting a standard for training in restrictive interventions. It is vital that we have such quality benchmarks in place and regulation through certification, since restrictive interventions are potentially dangerous and distressing for everyone involved. 

We all have a role to play in reducing restrictive practices

Commissioned by NHS, the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards 2019 provide a national and international benchmark for training in supporting people who are distressed in education, health and social care settings.

These Standards will also be mandatory for all training with a restrictive intervention component that is delivered to NHS-commissioned services (England only) for people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities, autistic people and people living with dementia in England. Implementation will be via commissioning requirements and inspection frameworks from April 2020.

Professor Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England, said: “The NHS welcomes the publication of the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards. These standards have been written to focus on ensuring training promotes human rights and supports cultural change necessary to reduce reliance on restrictive practices (rather than purely focus on technical skills). Certification of compliance with these standards will be a requirement in NHS commissioned and CQC regulated services from April 2020’

Chair of the Restraint Reduction Network, Professor Joy Duxbury, said: “These Standards are a really exciting development. They are vital in our work to reduce the use of restrictive practices and, on those occasions when restraint is unavoidable, to make sure it is safer and dignified.”

Joy Duxbury, Chair of the Restraint Reduction Network, tells us what the Standards are all about

Iris Benson MBE, Beth Morrison and James Dickinson speak about their experiences of restrictive practices.

Whilst focusing very much on the restraint reduction message this video does include discussion and disclosure of traumatising restraint experiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

 Take a look at the Standards

 Download a copy of the Training Standards here







Will you join us and take a stand against restraint?

Sign up here to show your commitment to reducing restrictive practices and for regular updates about our work

Key messages about the Standards and certification

Find out more


Information letter about certification of training in restrictive practices


Hold people to account 

Are you a service user or a family
member or friend of a service user?
Find out more about what the
Training Standards mean for you.

Campaign with us

Join the campaign to unnecessary restrictive interventions and raise awareness about how change can happen for the better.


Tell us your story

We want to hear your story. Have you been exposed to unnecessary and inappropriate restrictive interventions? Have you changed your practice as a school, service or organisation to become least restrictive? Here you can read or watch the stories of others. Whatever your story, we want to hear it.

Become a certificated training service

These Standards apply to education, health and social care settings. We encourage training providers working in these sectors to become certified against these Standards. Certification against the the Standards will be mandatory for all training providers (commercial and in-house) working with the NHS from April 2020.

Download the Certification Scheme Handbook 


Patients were restrained 22,000 times in NHS mental health hospitals alone in 2018.

The majority of such restraints are preventable.

The standards promote culture change through promoting human rights and a person centred therapeutic approach

They are designed to:

  • protect people’s fundamental human rights and promote person centred, best interest and therapeutic approaches to supporting people when they are distressed
  • improve the quality of life of those being restrained and those supporting them
  • reduce reliance on restrictive practices by promoting positive culture and practice that focuses on prevention, de-escalation and reflective practice
  • increase understanding of the root causes of behaviour and recognition that many behaviours are the result of distress due to unmet needs
  • where required, focus on the safest and most dignified use of restrictive interventions including physical restraint

Become a member of the Restraint Reduction Network to show your commitment to reducing restrictive practices.