Skills for Care

People display challenging or distressed behaviours because it could be the only way they can communicate and putting a positive behavioural support (PBS) training programme in place can support people with these challenges.

Positive behavioural support (PBS) is a way of supporting people and involves understanding the reasons behind the behaviour such as their life history, physical health and emotional needs.


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Design and commission training about Positive behavioural support (PBS) to help make sure your workforce has the right skills and knowledge to provide care and support for people who display behaviours which challenge.

This guide explains what workers need to know and do to deliver PBS. It outlines standards for training and provides tips about commissioning and/or designing training. 

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Key questions and answers about how Positive behavioural support (PBS) can help you deliver high quality support.

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Local networks can help you share what’s worked well and learn from others, to improve best practice. They'll have different focuses such as supporting autistic people, people with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and the use of PBS. Download the list of local networks and communities of practice.

If you want us to add your details to the list, please email us


The UK PBS competency framework explains what you need to know and do when delivering best practice PBS for people.

The PBS Academy has also developed Standards for Services which outlines what should be meet when delivering PBS.

Guidance and best practice for social care workers 

A positive and proactive workforce guide will help adult social care commissioners and employers to make decisions when planning, purchasing or providing learning and development that will help your workforce to work in a positive and proactive way, and minimise the use of restrictive practices, when supporting people who display behaviours which challenge.

A guide to arranging and paying for PBS training is for people involved in designing, delivering and/or commissioning PBS training in adult social care organisations. It explains what workers need to know and do to deliver high quality PBS, outlines standards for PBS training and gives you tips about commissioning and/or designing PBS training. 


In 2019/20 we ran a pilot project to develop and test a peer review process for PBS training. It involved learning providers conducting peer reviews on each other’s training to give feedback and share ideas. the objective was to improve the quality of PBS training across the sector.

  • At the beginning of this project, we did a survey to understand more about PBS training and learning provision in adult social care. Download the findings from the survey.

Watch this recorded webinar to find out more or email us.

These standards provide a national benchmark for training in restrictive practices and focus on the fundamental principles that apply to all populations (people with a mental health condition, learning disability, autism or dementia) and settings (across education health and social care).  

View the standards and supporting resources


Case studies


Paul has a team of staff supporting him who were trained using this funding. This film demonstrates how they’ve applied the training to change their approach to Paul by understanding and identifying Pauls needs better.


Duration 10 mins 30 secs


Training was funded by the ‘Positive and Safe programme’ in 2015 to support the aims of the Building the right support’ national plan  

Read the Positive behavioural support (PBS) and autism person budgets fund 2016 evaluation of this funding.

Rebecca has a rare genetic condition which presents as a severe learning disability, autism, an eating disorder and mild self-harm. When Rebecca moved into a shared residential home, the number of incidents of behaviours which challenge increased, so her support team introduced Positive behavioural support (PBS) to support her. 

Read the Rebecca's story


Michael has complex needs including autism, a learning disability and oppositional defiance disorder, and displays behaviour that challenges services. His supported living placement followed a Positive behavioural support (PBS) plan, which included an adult education programme focused on building his life skills, and his quality of life has improved.

Read the Michael's story


Gloucestershire County Council has implemented a county-wide approach to PBS. They set up a ‘Challenging behaviour working group’ to develop a Challenging Behaviour Strategy which outlines their strategic approach to supporting individuals with learning disabilities and/or autistic people who display behaviours which challenge - Positive behavioural support (PBS) is strongly featured in the strategy. 

Read the Gloustershire County Council's case study


The Lifeways Group used the fund to train staff to support Keith who has a learning disability, complex autism and related anxiety. They worked with staff to develop a positive behaviour support plan, communication skills and ways they could encourage Keith to engage more. As a result, Keith now leads a more fulfilled life, with reduced levels of anxiety and his behaviour patterns have changed. 

Read Keith's story


The Lifeways Group used the fund to train staff who support Jeremy, who has a severe learning disability, Downs Syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome. They used the fund to improve communication between Jeremy and staff, including developing a video of the Makaton signs that Jeremy uses. As a result, Jeremy accesses the community every day and the number of incidents of behaviour that challenges has decreased. 

Read Jerthe case study


Wirral Evolutions used the fund to train staff how to better support autistic people who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour which challenges. They trained over 100 staff on courses ranging from an 'introduction to positive behavioural support, to 'coaches training'. 

Read the case study


Further information

What is PBS - Video

BILD - Introduction to PBS

Challenging Behaviour Foundation - Videos