Wednesday 23 September 2015

PBS Competence Framework and Skills for Care

It is very good to see that the PBS Competence Framework is now available to download from the Skills for Care PBS web page here. This should help those people who are struggling to download the document from this blog. If you do access the Competence Framework via this route, make sure to check the blog from time to time for any new developments. We are due to post information about resources to implement the PBS Competence Framework on the blog at the end of Oct/early November. 

We were also delighted that Skills for Care recognised the importance of the Competence Framework in its publication - "PBS: a mini guide for arranging and paying for training" (also available on the Skills for Care PBS web page - see link above), as the key way to define competencies.  This guide states, "PBS training should reflect the PBS competency framework with direct support workers, supervisors and consultant level workers acquiring the skills and knowledge outlined for each area". 

We have also heard from organisations that are using the PBS Competence Framework to start evaluating the content of their own training programmes. In addition if you are looking for training for yourself, the competencies could be used to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of particular PBS training being offered by organisations, by mapping their learning outcomes against the competencies.

We would love to hear how the competence framework is being used within your organisation both for training as well as other purposes. Get in touch with us
The more good practice we share the more likely PBS will be provided in a way that offers high quality support to people.

Monday 10 August 2015

New PBS Resources Update

We continue to have lots of interest in the PBS Competence Framework, with 4889 page views to date. We know people are particularly interested in the additional resources we are currently developing to help put the competencies into practice. We plan to make these freely available on our BlogSpot this Autumn but in the meantime thought we would give you a flavour of what is to come!

As you will be aware from previous blogs, we have been working with 5 different target groups. In June and July, each group met to review existing PBS and other guidelines and materials, identify gaps, consider current context and decide what kind of resource they felt would be helpful to produce.

Since then we have been busy drafting the proposed resources and have summarised these below.

People with learning disabilities – not surprisingly this group wanted to focus on outcomes of PBS. They said they were not really concerned about what it is and how it is defined, but that they wanted PBS to offer them a good quality of life. In essence this meant they wanted to live somewhere they liked, choose to do things with friends and family in places like everyone else, be treated with respect and kindness, be supported as individuals to develop skills and interests and to be involved in planning and changing their support. Their resource will be an interactive one and will provide a means to help them express their views about these things. It will be very visual and use easy read words. We are going to be road testing this with people with learning disabilities at our next workshop on 26th October.

Service Providers – this group agreed there is lots of guidance already available detailing what services need to do to provide good quality PBS as well as guidance on specific issues such as positive handling. However, there is so much information around best practice, including some recommendations, which have become regulatory requirements, that for smaller organisations in particular it is hard to ensure that all are linked together and embedded into practice. The resource being developed for providers does this work for them: it summarises the key recommendations from those policy guidelines that have been identified by the group as the most important and puts these into a suggested policy framework. Services will be able to use this to help develop organisation-wide policies that embed PBS into practice. Each policy area has key points identified with signposts to relevant documents and guidance. This group meets again in London on 2nd October.

Commissioners – this group reviewed current guidance and again felt that there is plenty of guidance that already exists and that a lot of it is good quality. Yet there are significant barriers and perverse incentives in achieving effective commissioning. We agreed to focus on the areas of commissioning which we felt we could influence immediately. These were resources that front line reviewers of placements could use when monitoring /looking for a placement offering PBS, including:
  • Some standard wording about PBS to be included in service specifications,
  • Some screening questions which help identify those people who are vulnerable to developing challenging behaviour and who would benefit from a PBS approach from their placement
  • A guide to help care managers/social workers look for a good quality PBS service

A further workshop is planned on 17th September.

Direct Support Workers  - this group met in Bristol and clearly identified the crucial role they play in the delivery of PBS to the people they work closely with. They wanted a resource, which acknowledges and identifies to others the key role they play in PBS delivery and what support staff need from their organisation in order to effectively deliver this. We will meet up in Bristol again on 29th October.

Parents and Carers – in this workshop we talked at length about how parents/carers can ensure that the service their relative receives is based on good quality PBS. All too frequently they feel they have the “wool pulled over their eyes” by services, who are not really skilled in PBS. Parents and carers want a tool to help them identify what “good” PBS looks like and how they can ask the right questions in order to find this out. In addition they were keen to know how they could increase their own skills through formal and informal training and how to access funding for this. Parents & carers will review the draft resource on 29th September.

All of the groups identified issues around training in PBS as a major concern: availability of training, accessing training, knowing what good training looks like, accreditation, training that is tailored for specific user groups. Whilst we may not be able to address all of these concerns within the resources being developed at this stage, the discussions around training have helped inform some of the ideas that have come about.

Please email us with any comments or questions or simply to let us know how your service is making use of the PBS Competence Framework

Sunday 28 June 2015

Development of free PBS resources - progress so far

Well it’s just over a month since our last blog and the PBS Competence Framework was published.  We have had a great deal of interest from people, with 3781 page views of our blog and 25 endorsements of the framework from a range of organisations. Thank you.

We know some NHS and local government organisations are having problems with downloading the document because of IT firewalls. If this relates to you, please email us at and we will email you a copy. We are hoping to address this problem for future resources.

#pbschat discussed the framework on Wednesday 24th June, and this also generated lots of ideas and ways of making this resource more user friendly. We need as many people as possible working towards a shared goal of good quality PBS in the UK.  There is so much to do.

We are very aware that the framework is large, and a bit overwhelming. From the outset we decided to make sure everything was in there and then to go about making it accessible for different target audiences. Phase 2 of this project is doing just that – looking at developing resources which will help people be able to use the competence framework to provide, buy, commission and request good quality PBS.

We have organised 5 workshops for different target groups in June and July, which include service providers, people with learning disabilities, parents/
carers, direct support staff and commissioners. The first working group (Service Providers) met on 24th June in London. We had a very productive and useful meeting. We looked at what is currently available to help services provide “good” PBS. There is loads of guidance about this but the group felt there was so much that it was easy to become overwhelmed. We have agreed to develop a resource which we think will help service providers make sense of all this as well as follow the competence framework. Alison and Louise are tasked with writing this with help from the group and hope this will be available from our BlogSpot at the end of October. Watch this space!

One down and four workshops to go! The next group on Monday will be looking at resources for people with learning disabilities. We will keep you posted of developments.

In the meantime if you know of any resources which you think would be helpful in putting the PBS Competence Framework into practice, then we would really like to hear from you. Please contact us at

Thursday 21 May 2015

What's next for the PBS Competence Framework Project?

So the competencies have been defined and are available here. Defining the competencies (see the first blog) was an important and necessary first step. Disseminating and putting them into practice requires some additional pieces of work.

We are pleased to advise therefore that Phase 2 of the Competence Framework Project is underway thanks to generous funding from the Royal Mencap Society. Phase 2 aims to produce a set of resources that map onto the PBS Competence Framework, tailored for different target groups to facilitate the implementation of the competencies for the delivery of best practice.

It is anticipated that these will include:
     Guidance for commissioners that enables them to commission
       high quality, community-based PBS support services (both at an individual and service level).
     Guidance for parents and carers about what PBS is, what to ask for to support their son/daughter whose behaviour challenges, and what competencies they may need to develop themselves to be a part of their PBS support network.
     Guidance for service providers about how to design/organise and deliver high quality PBS services.
     Guidance for people with learning disabilities about what PBS is, and what to expect from a good quality PBS service.
     Guidance for direct support workers which translates the PBS competencies into a more accessible format.

Who will be part of this project?
Phase 2 is being managed on behalf of the PBS Coalition by Louise Denne (Project Director) and Alison Branch (Project Co-ordinator). Louise is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and project managed the development of the PBS Competence Framework. Alison is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and Occupational Therapist working in the North East of England in a NHS community service for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

As with the development of the PBS Competence Framework, this will be a collaborative piece of work involving the wider PBS community and stakeholder groups. A series of working groups are currently being set up for each of the above work streams. If you have some specific expertise in any of the above areas and would like to help with this part of the project, please get in touch.

Alison and Louise will be providing regular updates on this blog site and through Twitter and any materials produced will eventually be published here for free.

If you have any questions about the Competence Framework or this next stage of the project please contact us at

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Positive Behavioural Support Competence Framework now available!

Positive Behavioural Support Competence Framework now available!

We are delighted that the Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) Competence Framework is now available to download here for free. The framework has been developed as a collaborative project, made possible by many individuals giving their time for free. In addition, Skills for Care has also provided some funding to help this development.

We are grateful to all!

Many organisations have agreed to endorse the Framework and make it available through links on their own websites. We hope you may wish to endorse the Framework after reading it. Please contact the PBS Coalition by email: if you would like to do so.

So what is the PBS Competence Framework and who should use it?

It is a resource that provides a common and shared knowledge and associated actions necessary for the delivery of PBS to people with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge. Defining PBS competencies was an important and necessary first step as it is vital that we have some agreement about what constitutes a good standard of competence for PBS delivery in the UK. We want it to be used by many different groups including, families & carers, commissioners of services, service providers, direct support staff, health, education or social care professionals, researchers or academic institutes.

How can the framework be used?

The framework could be used to help develop a range of tools and products including a structured and progressive continuing education curriculum for all professionals involved in the delivery of PBS, a framework for human resource management including recruitment, retention and staff progression, assessment tools with which to evaluate individual and group performances.

Any organisation or individual may remix, tweak and build upon the content to meet their own needs, even for commercial purposes. The aim is not to prescribe what these resources may look like; rather it is to provide a common basis upon which such resources may be developed.  The only thing that we ask is that the PBS Competence Framework and the work of the PBS Coalition is credited and that new work is shared in the same spirit. The Framework is therefore licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

If you have any questions about the Competence Framework please contact us at

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) Coalition UK

This is the blog page for a collective of organisations and individuals in the UK who are working together to promote Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) as a framework for working with children and adults with intellectual disabilities whose behaviour is described as "challenging".

More information and blogs will be posted soon.