De-escalation techniques for public servants

De-escalation techniques for public servants

New Virtual De-escalation Workshops available

The GHSL in partnership with WorkSafe Reps are pleased to offer more virtual workshops following the successful de-escalation training pilot workshop which was run on the 9th of June. We will continue to run these workshops to meet demand.

Below are the latest De-escalation Zoom Training workshops dates:

Wednesday 11th November 2020 1.00pm - 4.30pm.

Tuesday 24th November 2020 9.00am- 12.30pm

Click here(external link) to register for the any of the workshops.  Looking to book more than one staff member on to a workshop? Please contact WorkSafe Reps or email: 

Each online workshop can have up to 14 attendees per workshop, at the price of $150+GST per person.  

Course details
This  online course(external link) is a 3.5 hour facilitated workshop run via zoom and will:

  • Focus more on phone contact and general face to face encounters with customers in general everyday situations whether it be over the phone, at an office reception or regional office counter.
  • Enable workers to recognise common physical signs and/or verbal cues that their customers are demonstrating such as frustration, agitation, anger or stress etc.  
  • Provide the worker with the understanding and knowledge on how to de-escalate the situation whilst working in a controlled environment.  
  • This training will not cover how workers in specialist roles deal with threats of physical violence, life threatening situations or identifying high risk individuals in uncontrolled environments. For example: Social workers going to meet clients, workers who are going to meet a member of the public around legal compliance procedures or meetings with high risk individuals in uncontrolled working environments.

View attached course outline. [PDF, 128 KB]

Most interactions between public servants and members of the public are positive events, however interactions can become heated and sometimes escalate towards more aggressive behaviour. Violent and aggressive behaviour towards staff is one of the common critical risks across the public sector, and is a key area of focus for the Government Health and Safety Lead (GHSL) work programme.

Training staff to use communication as a tool has proven effective in de-escalating aggressive behaviour. Most agencies already offer comprehensive training in this area for frontline staff, however feedback has suggested not all agencies have programmes available for all customer-facing staff in a controlled environment.

By partnering with the GHSL, WorkSafe Reps(external link) have developed a de-escalation techniques course for public sector agencies. It is targeted at call centre and other customer-facing staff across the sector who may not have completed training of this nature, or could benefit from refresher training. The workshop has been developed using public sector scenarios and content, including contributions from a number of agencies including MBIE, MPI, Corrections, MSD, Justice, and the PSA.

For more information please or phone 0800 HS Lead, or contact Debbie Bridge or Anita McGhie-Filkins.