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.

This two-cluster theme is actually the simplest and clearest of the Big Five. Unlike some of the other more general names for the themes and practice elements in PIEs 2, the actual meaning these two is fairly self-evident. It’s rare you need to explain them.

At most, it can be hard sometimes to disentangle them from the other costs and tissues in running a service. But as we said in the previous section – it doesn’t really matter which category an activity goes in; what matters is how well it meets the needs.

It then divides fairly obviously and simply into two: training, and support.  For brevity, the pen-and-paper version of the Pizazz groups them together. Likewise staff training and support, and training and support for volunteers, and for peer mentors, all are under the one heading. (That’s why the PIEs 2 heading just reads ‘training and support’, rather than ‘staff training and support’.)


Where they differ

But the feedback from many services exploring the Pizazz was that there were often quite significant differences between training issues and support issues, that needed quite different responses.

Training in particular is very resource-dependent, with the costs for trainers or courses, and the costs in staff time. For the first, at least, there is often an allowance in the form of a specific training budget.  By contrast, support may well also have some resource implications, but it is more a question of how the everyday work of the service is managed.

So feeding back separately on each of these provides valuable information; and when you are looking at the needs of the staff, you may well find it helpful to distinguish these two.


But whose staff?

Other than that, though, the one possibly significant shift from PIEs 1 is the suggestion that by 'staff', we may 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 is itself explored more under the heading of "The Three R's') .

Later, in the sector engagement element, we will also be looking at how some agencies and some approaches involve providing training and support to others outside the service – those who are neither staff nor users of this service. Here, too, the dividing lines between what goes where, for example in a Pizazz assessment, can become less clear; but there is no harm in duplication; that is, in putting the intentions in the Three Rs and sector engagement, and looking at the actual content of training here. For now, it can stand.







Further background reading/listening/viewing

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


    Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : 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

For more on the development of these areas, see:

PIEs 2.0 - the development procesHERE

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