Our training services
Drawing upon our own experience of leading university teams, our training is always practical in its approach and focuses on student services management, welfare incident management, mental health awareness, managing clinical risk and safeguarding issues.
There are four main ways in which you and your team can access our training services:
Training for student-facing colleaguesOur most popular training courses for colleagues working with students are: ■ Managing Distressed Students (½-day or 1-day) ■ Why Boundaries Matter for Personal Tutors ■ Mental Health Awareness in an HE Context ■ Handling Tricky Student Situations ■ Personal Safety & De-escalation ■ Managing Student Safeguarding Disclosures ■ Coaching Skills when Working 1 :1 with Students More specific courses focus on particular mental health issues in the context of higher education - such as emotionally unstable personality disorder (sometimes called borderline personality disorder) and self-harm, which can lead to complex cases, if not managed effectively. All our training focuses on practical skills to support students in boundaried and role-appropriate ways. Without clear boundaries, students feel uncontained and are less likely to access the specialist support they need, and colleagues can start to feel that their own wellbeing is affected. We also facilitate peer case discussions to give colleagues a space to reflect on tricky cases they have managed in the past and inform future practice.
Training for managersWe support HE managers and management teams with training on: ■ Lead/Designated Safeguarding Officer Training (2-day) ■ Safeguarding Training for Executive/Governing Bodies ■ Effective Management of a Student Death: Policy & Practice ■ Managing Serious Student Incidents ■ Effective 'Fitness to Study' Policies & Processes ■ The Challenges of Managing Specialist Student Support Teams ■ Managing & Experiencing Change ■ Managing Distressed Staff: For Line-Managers & HR Managers We specialise in training on challenging topics, such as student death scenarios, and on areas of work, such as safeguarding, where HE responsibilities differ significantly from those of schools and FE providers and can have professional registration implications. Our work with HE managers at all levels can take the form of training events, workshops, Governing Body or SMT briefings, and management team away days. Training can be delivered as a standalone activity or combined with consultancy support, such as management coaching, a case/incident review, a policy review, or a service review.
Recent clients include:
The higher education sector is unlike any other. Training that does not take account of the unique working relationship between a university and its students, or the specific regulatory regime that governs the sector, can fall wide of the mark.
All our trainers at Plinth House have significant experience as managers in higher education. We understand the pressures involved in working in higher education today - including rising demand for support from students, students presenting at higher levels of risk, and colleagues' increasingly complex interactions with other stakeholders, such as students' parents.
All our training content and case studies draw upon our practical experience of working in the sector ourselves, as well as our trainers' extensive experience in other sectors - including the NHS, local government and equality/inclusion.
Mode of delivery
Delivering training face-to-face has many advantages, especially when the training is designed to challenge people's ways of thinking and change behaviour. It generally offers the best route to getting participants to engage, reflect, and open up.
However, delivery in person can have its downsides. It can be tricky to roll out across a whole institution and difficult for colleagues working remotely or on shift patterns to attend.
We can deliver training in a wide range of modes, including:
face-to-face training, workshops and away day events
live online training sessions
webinars - both live and recorded
tailored 'train the trainer' programmes, to support staff to deliver our licensed courses themselves.