Nursing Homes

PETMA™ for Nursing Homes

PETMA™ is a Irish HIQA Compliant, Behaviour Support Model to support persons with dementia, who may become distressed, using an ethical and human rights-based approach.

Expert Training Needs Analysis  

The PETMA™ journey within any organisation begins with a comprehensive Training Needs Analysis which is a consultation process to assess the conditions and potential incidents involving individuals within the organisation to ensure the delivery of a customised training programme.

Given the intricate professional, legal, and ethical aspects of supporting individuals who may engage in physically harmful and or distressful behaviour, our approach follows the HSE's "Linking Service and Safety" (2008) which recommends:

Consultation process that includes: 

  • Direct interaction with individuals who may engage in distressful behaviour to understand their sources of distress.
  • Clinical consultations with direct support staff and, if necessary, reviewing individual service user files.
  • Discussions with Health & Safety representatives and those responsible for risk management.
  • Consultations with senior management.
  • All documented and undocumented incidents are analysed, and their training implications are incorporated into the programme design.

Customised Training Programme Development

The National Institute of Intellectual Disabilities leverages a wide range of resources and training modules to create a bespoke programme tailored to the training needs identified through the analysis. This ensures the delivery of behaviour training, positive support strategies, and physical interventions within the appropriate context organisation. Our expertise includes comprehensive training on Positive Behaviour Support and support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Mental Health Difficulties, and Attachment Disorder.

Post-TNA Programme Development

Following the Expert Training Needs Analysis (ETNA), we develop a programme that includes a mix of bespoke and mandatory modules from an extensive list, such as: 

  • Understanding the realities of having an Intellectual Disability/Acquired Brain Injury/Autism, Anxiety Disorder
  • Positive Behaviour Support: Values, assessment methods, and strategies using Person-Centred Approaches to develop proactive strategies.
  • De-escalation Skills: Verbal, environnemental, empathy, collaboration and active listening techniques.
  • Decision Making: Incorporating legislation, guidance, policy, professional, moral, and ethical considerations.
  • Disengagement and Breakaway Techniques: Safe and effective methods.
  • Restrictive Physical Interventions: Techniques ranging from single-person to two-person removals, escorts, and seated interventions.
  • Post-Incident Support, Management, and Reporting: Strategies to support staff and individuals after an incident.

 Compliance and Accreditation

  • HIQA's "National Quality Standards in Residential Care Settings for People with Intellectual Disabilities" (2013).
  • Health Act Regulations SI 367
  • The Mental Health Act 2001
  • HSE Mental Health Rights
  • HSE's "Linking Service and Safety" (2008).
  • Category 1 approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Board

Accredited by the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD). By being certified by Bild Association of Certified Training, we have demonstrated that our training services comply with the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards. This is a rigorous process that is accredited by UKAS as meeting the ISO 17065:2012 standards for certification. You can check below to view our certification

The Department of Education's "Managing Behaviour in Schools Policy, Respect for All" (2015).

The Department of Education's "Educational Provision and Support for Persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: The Report of the Task Force on Autism."

There are two programmes available.

Click on a section below to view full details.



This programme is designed to equip learners with essential professional, ethical, and therapeutic competence, knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for preventing and/or supporting older persons when they experience distress. It aims to facilitate them to reach a calmer state while ensuring the safety of all involved.

The programme covers the following key modules:

  • Understanding Behaviour of Concern
  • Understanding Dementia and its Impacts
  • Support Strategies
  • Communication Techniques
  • Professional Aspects of Managing Distressful Behaviours
  • Legal Aspects of Managing Distressful Behaviours
  • Physical Component Module

This programme is aligned with the values and practices outlined in the HIQA National Quality Standards in Residential Care Settings for Older People 2007. Additionally, it adheres to the BILD Code of Practice for the use of Physical Interventions.

For further details, please request a brochure here.


This is a three-day programme, comprising of no less than 19 hours.  Full attendance is compulsory. 

What is PETMA™ TTT? 

PETMA™ TTT presents a distinct behaviour support training approach for disability organisations, schools, and nursing homes in Ireland, which is HIQA compliant, standing out from other models which have flooded the market. While many of these models originated as staff self-defence courses, PETMA™ took a different approach by listening to service users' voices. This enabled the development of a behaviour support model centred on understanding, empathy, compassion, and collaboration with service users.

PETMA™ TTT empowers trainers to enact real change in classrooms, enabling them to deliver tailored content relevant to the individuals they support. Through conducting a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), trainers gain insight into the practical challenges and realities faced by staff daily. This knowledge allows them to deliver the 2-day Foundation Programme with a mix of mandatory modules and also to craft a customised training programme, drawing on our vast number of modules that addresses specific needs effectively.  


Click here for full information