Training and support - joined at the hip

Plus ca change

Of all the core features of key elements in the basic outline of a PIE that have changed, either slightly or quite significantly, as between the classic account of a PIE  (PIES 1) and the new PIEs 2.0 version, the one that has not changed at all is the emphasis on staff training and support.

The one possibly significant shift is the stress that by 'staff', we mean not solely the paid staff, the employees, but all those who contribute to the creation and function of a service, including volunteers, and especially those service users who take on any constructive role. Even this aspect of the 2.0 model, however, is itself explored more under the heading of "The Three R's'.


Training needs

Granted the central importance of staff training in the PIE concept, it is perhaps slightly surprising that for PIEs, there is no 'core curriculum' that we recommend.  But granted the wide range of client groups and settings where the idea has been taken up, it is hard to see how one could even be suggested, let alone imposed, as an expectation.

This is on the whole a good thing, as it allows and encourages the staff in any one service or agency to decide for themselves what is relevant; and that in turn means a far faster take-up of new ideas and insights than could be possible with a centralised curriculum, required for all.

In the homelessness sector generally, which is where the PIEs concept first took root,  there is no tradition, and certainly no expectation, of CPD - continuous professional development - which is otherwise almost a hallmark or professionalism in other fields.

Support needs

There has been a greater focus on staff support, and on acknowledging the emotional wear and tear so often involved in working with individuals with complex needs and challenging behaviour. One of the aspects of the PIE approach that seems to have been most welcomed is the fact that the PIE framework insists that staff, too, need support; and this is written in to the definition (such as it is) of a PIE; and to the self assessment process, the Pizazz, both in its paper and software versions. These make the issue unavoidable.

This has been expressed in many presentations; but even so, the bulk of explicit discussion of support in practice so far has been in the context of another of the key elements of practice  - reflective practice.


Further background reading/listening/viewing


PIElink pages on the Big Five themes

The 'Big Five' : HERE

Psychological awareness in action : HERE

What training? and what support? : HERE

Learning through enquiry : HERE

Making space : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE


PIElink pages on PIEs overall

PIEs in principle : HERE

PIEs 2 : HERE 

PIEs 1, 2 - and 3? : HERE

PIE  assessment : HERE

The other key features of the revised version are:

  • Psychological awareness HERE
  • Learning and Enquiry HERE
  • Spaces of Opportunity HERE
  • The Three Rs HERE

So: where is 'relationships' in the PIEs 2.0 framework? HERE

For more on the development of these areas, see:

PIEs 2.0 - the development process HERE

Pizazz: A new and more customisable working framework for PIEs HERE