Staff training and support 101

Recognising the challenges

One of the features of the PIE approach that seemed to go down particularly well was the insistence that staff too needed support.  But granted what we now understand better of the emotional complexity that many in homelessness and similar services may be facing, working as a PIE does suggest a far 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.

Naturally enough, the key practice elements in the Training and Support ' theme are two: training, and support.

  • By training we suggest that, beyond basic induction into the procedures of any service, the staff and the whole services will typically benefit from training in understanding the issues that the service users group may be facing.
  • By support we mean not just available counselling for staff who are particularly struggling, but a more pervasive attitude with in any organisation, and a wider range of ways to look after the needs of staff, pro-actively.

Training needs

A minimal understanding of psychological and emotional trauma is likely to be helpful to all staff - not just to those in services explicitly for people with 'complex needs'.  Otherwise, there is no 'core curriculum' that is expected or required, for services to 'be a PIE'.

For a rather more in-depth discussion of training, see 'What training? and what support?' HERE

Support needs

The COVID crisis of 2020-2021 has brought increased attention to the importance of catering for staff welfare. But there are so many ways to meet staff needs that it may not be particularly helpful to list them, even as examples. So for a rather more in-depth discussion of support issues, see 'What training? and what support?' HERE

It may be worth noting, however, that some of the earliest published reports on the use of the Pizazz self assessment process to develop services was that it seemed to bring benefits for staff morale. It seems that being listened to, and given some scope for leading on developments in services, was actually good for staff morale.

(Who would have thought it?)

Not just paid staff

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.

This aspect of the 2.0 model - the roles available, to staff, users and others - is explored more under the broader theme of "The Three R's'.


Clustering practice issues

NB: The pairing of training and support here seems fairly self-explanatory. But for more on the thinking behind creating this cluster of issues theme as a central theme for PIEs, see: 'What training? and what support?', in the Discussions section : HERE

Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages

The other key features of the revised version are:

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE


A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE

Digging Deeper

What training? And what support? : HERE

Where is 'relationships' in the PIEs 2.0 framework? HERE

PIEs 2.0 - the development process : HERE

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