The Program

The S.A.F.E. Approach is an exciting training program designed specifically for those in the healthcare field where the effective use of verbal and non-verbal communication skills can reduce the risk of negative or violent encounters with patients, visitors and co-workers.

At the heart of The S.A.F.E. Approach is the concept of recognizing potentially hazardous situations and mitigating their impact all while treating individuals with dignity and respect – a key component.  We know that compassion, empathy and a comprehensive understanding of human behavior can resolve or even prevent most conflicts.  It's only on rare occasion that an individual must resort to some form of defensive posture or reaction, but it’s this key component of our training that separates The S.A.F.E. Approach™ from many others: our simple, effective and easy to remember methods for enhancing personal safety.






We are fully aware of the demands placed on staff member's time. Every moment spent in training is time away from their ever important tasks. Therefore, our goal is to effectively train your staff, do so in a timely manner, and provide you with peace of mind knowing that your co-workers have the tools necessary to make sound competent decisions.

As you'll notice, testing is an important component at each level. In order for the organization and The S.A.F.E. Approach to validate the learning process, each participant is tested on key information contained in their training. While not extremely difficult, this testing provides important feedback to the instructor and the organization as to the quality of instruction and materials and provides important feedback to administrators. Additionally, all students in Level II and Level III training receive handouts that are theirs to keep. This ensures that participants are afforded the opportunity to refer back to the techniques they have learned as needed.

There are generally three levels of training using The S.A.F.E. Approach method;

Level I

Level I is a 2-hour block of instruction designed for those staff members who rarely, if ever, have care responsibility of patients. These individuals usually include office staff, phone operators, maintenance workers, housekeeping, food services, etc.

An alternative we offer to classroom training is a customized computer-based training module designed for your organization's in-house Learning Management System. This method saves valuable resources as the employee may simply take the course while sitting at their workstation or anywhere computer training normally takes place.

Level I training includes topic such as:

  • Customer Service
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Safety Awareness, and
  • Recognizing and Diffusing Conflict and Aggression

Level II

Level II instruction is a 4-hour course designed for those staff members who have responsibilities that include frequent patient contact. These individuals would include doctors, nurses, aides, technicians and others.

Many of the topics covered in Level II are taught in Level I. However, this level has the added component of Personal Safety Measures. We instruct the participant on how to protect themselves and potentially those around them before, during or after there has been a failure in communication.

Level II training includes topics such as:
• Customer Service
• Interpersonal Communication
• Recognizing and Diffusing Conflict and Aggression
• Personal Safety Measures including:
     - How to avoid being trapped in a room
     - Planning for escape as a matter of routine, before it’s too late
     - How to quickly and effectively escape when you are hit, grabbed, knocked to the ground or in some way physically assaulted

We routinely receive positive feedback on this training. Not only do the participants often express their gratitude for the knowledge they receive, but they also appreciate their employer affording them this opportunity.

Level III

Level III instruction is an 8-hour course designed for those staff members who may or may not have frequent patient contact; however, they are often tasked with controlling and/or stabilizing disruptive or violent persons. Depending on your facility, these individuals may include both medical and non-medical staff members. This task may not only be hazardous for the patient and staff member, but it can open the organization to significant legal exposure if not performed and documented correctly. This training is especially important if your facility is confronted with situations involving trauma, mental illness, the elderly or drug and alcohol abuse.

Level III training encompasses all of the topics taught in Level II, but with the added component of restraint. One key component of this training is the team approach. Rather than rushing in with either no plan or a rather weak plan, we show participants how and why a careful, coordinated approach - utilizing proper communication and physical technique – will result in a successful restraint with minimal injury and complaint.

Refresher Training

Refresher training in The S.A.F.E. Approach method for Level I and Level II employees is easy and consists of computer based training modules (where such systems exist) or short classroom sessions annually. The Refresher includes curriculum and legal updates that may affect the employee or the organization. Level III employees need only attend one eight-hour training cycle annually.

Instructors are certified for three years providing they teach a minimum of 24 hours per year. Recertification involves attending a 2 day, 16 hour course. When significant changes occur in the law or in procedure, trainers are provided with course updates as needed.

The S.A.F.E. Approach program is designed for simple and effective management. There are no cards or manuals to be purchased. All materials are included in the quoted rate.


The S.A.F.E. Approach program provides training in one of two methods:

  • The healthcare organization selects personnel from within the institution to become certified trainers via our “Train-the-Trainer” program, or
  • The S.A.F.E. Approach provides the training cadre to instruct in the Levels you choose.

Many larger facilities have qualified personnel that are proficient in instructing their staff. Based on this fact, some clients may choose to have us train these individuals as instructors. Often, depending on the number of staff members trained, this can be a cost saving measure on large scale training endeavors.

When this option is chosen, we provide 24 hours of intensive onsite training during our four day “Train-the-Trainer” course. Participants are not only taught the exceptional principles of The S.A.F.E. Approach method, but are also provided coaching in quality instructor presentation techniques. Students selected for this course should desire and be able to teach all aspects of the program, including Level III.

At the successful completion of our "Train-the-Trainer" course, each instructor will receive:

  • A certificate of completion
  • A comprehensive training notebook. This book not only covers the material they learn in class, but also provides the necessary individual sections to train Level I, Level II or Level III. This manual also contains quality photographs detailing the defensive or restraint methods as demonstrated in class and taught in Levels II and III.
  • A compact disc complete with all course and administrative materials needed to conduct the various levels of training. This includes participant manuals that the organization may choose to print themselves as an added cost saving measure.

When organizations choose to use instructors provided by S.A.F.E. Approach, we provide qualified, compassionate Subject Matter Experts who not only care about the material, but are passionate about how we view and treat others. Our instructors will train any number of employees as predetermined by our client.

Participants in Level II and Level III training will receive student manuals complete with photographs of the techniques demonstrated and practiced in class. Additionally, upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion. Certificates are available for Level I training. This can be further discussed with the client. The sheer volume of participants may preclude this from being a necessity.