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Case Study

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GMCA Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)

Excel Training Solutions was contacted by The GMCA Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to examine the potential for the standard course being delivered to staff within all schools the authority a total of ten boroughs. During these discussions, the VRU enquired if it would be possible to deliver Training for Trainers as an alternative standard course. Following internal discussions Excel Training Solutions agreed to do so on condition that the materials provided to the trainers were retained by them solely whilst employed with GMCA, following the agreement with this contractual condition the development of Training for Trainers began.

During development, and consultation with the VRU the standard course content was adapted to reflect the specific needs and context of search within GMCA including local protocols one for Schools and PRUs and one for Colleges and the findings of Greater Manchester Serious Violence needs assessment. At the request of the VRU the title of the course for delivery became “Search Training a Safer Approach for Staff and Students”.

The VRU required that the final course would be a single days training (09:00 to 17:00). As a result of this restriction Excel Training Solutions created additional support materials in the form of additional modules which were made available to those staff that attended the training, the modules are:

  1. Risk Assessment.

  2. Audit & Action Planning.

  3. A guide for desktop exercises.

  4. Guide Reasonable Grounds.

  5. Guide Area Searching.

  6. Metal Detector Search Refresher.

  7. Items Carried Search Refresher.

  8. Person Search Refresher.

  9. Maintaining Social Distance While Searching.

Agreed Aims and Objectives of the course.

Part 1 Delivery of the Standard Course (“Search Training a Safer Approach for Staff and Students”.)


That by the end of the event participants will be aware of strategies aimed at reducing the threat of knives gaining entry to the school.


  • That participants will be able to use the risk assessment model used during the event.

  • That participants will have identified the existing locally appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

  • That participants will have observed scanning and searching demonstrations and will practised these and demonstrated an appropriate level of competence with each.

  • That participants will be able to outline “Reasonable Grounds” (“Suspicion”)

Part 2 Preparation

Aim & Objectives.

That participants would be aware of the required preparation prior to delivery of the training locally and the available support materials and their role in ensuring searches were evidenced as reasonable, proportionate and justified in relation to perceived risk.

Part 3 Desktop Exercise

Aim. To enable participants to act as facilitators for local desktop exercises.


That by the end of the session participants would be able to act as facilitators for a desk top exercise, the example used was to create a procedure for a reactive search with the desktop aims being those attending their desktop would have:

  • Identified the Key Stake Holders - Reactive Searches.

  • Where possible identified resolution strategies for issues raised during the exercise.

  • Identified remaining issues that require resolution.

  • Created a “draft” procedure for Reactive Searches.

  • Identified areas of impact. 

  1. Existing policies and protocols.

  2. Legislation.

  3. Good Practice Guidance.

Excel Training Solutions was initially commissioned by the VRU to deliver 10 training events, 1 for each borough within GMCA for a maximum of 16 participants at each event, the total potential trainers therefore being 160. Following this this the VRU requested an additional event specifically for further education within the GMCA. Excel Training Solutions therefore created an additional training product to meet the alternate legislation relating to adult education. Therefore, the total events increased to 11 with the potential trainers also increasing to 176.

Following training each participant was provided with a copy of the training for trainers course handout and PowerPoint for the search training they would deliver and access to a large range of support documentation examples of which are:

  • Book 1 Trainer Notes Standard Course Social Distancing.

  • Book 2 Exercises.

  • Book 3 Participant Handout.

  • Book 10 Competency Record.

  • Book 11 Dealing with Finds (confiscated items).

  • Book 12 Guide Bag Search Exercise.

  • Book 15 Training Document Index. This document provides a list of all available additional support documents.

As is the case with all Excel Training Solutions training products this product was considered as live and updated to reflect feedback from participants following a post training report being provided to the commissioning authority in this case the VRU.