Shout Out for Vibrant and Creative Training

Preventing abuse and protecting the vunerable is a skill that needs to be taught. Policies need to be implemented, and people can only do what they’ve learned. Each year, we equip thousands of people to best care for the vulnerable people their organizations serve. We train thousands of people about the importance of abuse prevention, and how they can identify abuse, report it and prevent it. We also train individuals to train others. 

We’re passionate about good training. Watching people develop a passion for creating safe and just communities, and enabling them to share that with others, brings us great joy. But we understand that, for many people, training can become just another item to check off to fulfill insurance requirements. Let’s be clear: preventing abuse is not an option. Training is critical. Insurance companies require staff and volunteers to be trained in abuse prevention, and for that training to be refreshed in order to qualify for abuse coverage. 

Training does not need to be boring. It can include more than reading a policy or listening to a lecture. The goal is to make sure that everyone in an organization is on the same page, and we want to make sure everyone enjoys the process it takes to get there. Abuse is serious and heartbreaking. But we aim to make learning about prevention a beneficial and enjoyable experience. Recognizing everyone has different learning styles and modalities, our training sessions include small group discussions, games, activities and times for questions and answers.  

We don’t know what we don’t know.  There is no better way to ensure everyone within your organization is on the same page than to provide training on your policies and procedures and to refresh that learning on an annual basis.  To gain greater understanding and to strengthen your knowledge individuals focus in on specific topics. 

We have three main kinds of training: Plan to Protect® Orientation, Plan to Protect® Refresher and Special Interest Webinars. 

The initial Orientation training includes: discussion of best practices, the different types of abuse and what the characteristics of each type are, implementation of abuse prevention policies, procedures for vulnerable sector protection and guidelines for responding to and reporting abuse. It should take approximately two hours.

The Refresher training covers the same topics as the Orientation training. Many insurance policies require Refresher training annually. Even if your policy doesn’t specifically mandate yearly updates, we think it’s a good idea. Laws and policies change. We stay up-to-date on these developments and modify our resources to reflect new developments. Refresher training gives your staff and volunteers the chance to recall what they know and learn about current and emerging topics related to abuse prevention.  This training should take approximately one hour.

We realize, though, that questions may arise following a training. Changes in technology or legislation may influence how your organization works. If your organization decides to try new initiatives, you’ll want to be prepared to protect everyone involved. We’ve developed several Special Interest trainings on a variety of topics. These are available for purchase on our on-line school. These include materials for administrators, team leaders and board members; guidelines for how to implement protection in small, medium, large and mega-sized organizations and resources for parents. We also provide training related to specific activities, like sports, international and off-site trips and retreats. We have training specifically for those working with different vulnerable populations: youth, older adults and seniors, and those with disabilities. We have a specific webinar about how to best train staff and volunteers who have disabilities. Other special topics covered in webinars include: sexual identity, gender expression and human rights, complying with accessibility laws, proper use of social media, electronic documentation and supporting people who have reported instances of abuse. These webinars can be purchased on-line. Members can access them for free. Some webinars are also available in French.

Finally, our Train the Trainer certification course (Level One and Level Two) certifies individuals to train others. This is crucial, as insurance companies require training to be done by qualified instructors. We are often asked, ‘what makes someone a qualified instructor?’ At Plan to Protect® we have the experience, but we can’t be everywhere, so our Train the Trainer course equips you to be a qualified trainer. Training works best when it addresses an organization’s specific needs. We’re here to help. We have resources to help make your training engaging including: game-show style activities (like Jeopardy or Family Feud), videos and case studies. We have materials to help trainers teach both the Orientation and the Refresher courses.

Our training programs are available in-person, on-line or through live webinars. 

Don’t rest on your laurels, continue to invest in your own professional development and provide inspiring training to engage and mobilize your learners.


*Previously published in PROTECT publication - January 2018.


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