England & Wales

Seminar: Personal Safety for Councillors



This is an essential programme for Councillors who want to be more aware of their personal safety.

Designed to sit within any organisation’s policy, the session is based on sensible advice and established good practice.

In addition to exploring issues around personal safety, the programme will make participants more aware about the reasons why people can behave in negative ways, and explores practical ways to avoid situations becoming uncontrollable.

Many of these approaches can be relevant to a wide range of situations including chairing difficult meetings, or interacting with groups of unhappy residents.

Programme Objectives:

By the end of this programme delegates will be able to:

  • Create a strategy for personal safety and awareness
  • Describe the underpinning motivators of aggressive or inappropriate behaviour
  • Explain the anger cycle and early warning signs that a situation is deteriorating
  • Identify behaviours that act as accelerants and that can inflame an individual
  • Use calming techniques to avoid situations becoming more heated
  • Recognise when the situation is becoming irretrievable and learn how to walk away or summon help
  • Develop sensible use of senses and instinct.

Further information: 

The programme is very participative and draws on the experiences of delegates.  The theme of the course is diagnostic; encouraging delegates to identify areas where they can prevent aggressive situations from occurring and become aware of personal behaviours that unwittingly may create problems for others.


10:00 Coffee and registration

10:30 Welcome

  • Introductions
  • Objectives – personal and programme

10:45 Our Role

  • What are the situations to which we may be exposed
  • Defining lone working situations
  • Lone working and how this changes risk

11:30 Personal Safety and Early Choices

  •  Good practice guide to working safely including:
  •  Using public transport
  •  Meeting people in their homes
  •  Having visitors to our home
  •  Meetings
  •  Walking, cycling and driving tips

During this session we will stop for a brief refreshment break

12:45 Lunch

13:15 Behavioural Awareness:

  • Why do people become aggressive or violent?
  • Understanding behaviour patterns and cycles
  • Patterns of anger

13:45 The Anger Graph

  • The behaviour triangle
  • Calming a situation down
  • Helping and hindering behaviours
  • Talking people ‘down’

14:30 Techniques for Coping with Aggression

  • Interrupting and use of distraction techniques
  • Non-verbal behaviour
  • Sympathy, empathy and apologising
  • Standing our ground gracefully
  • Avoiding becoming ‘hooked’ into arguments
  • Making use of the Council’s complaints/feedback process

15:15 What next?

  • Incident reporting – signposting to in-house policy and procedure
  • Reporting procedures
  • Coping with the aftermath

15:30 Key points from the session

  • Review
  • Evaluation
  • Close.



The course is facilitated by Miranda Smythe from The Baikie-Wood Consultancy Ltd, who has 30 years’ experience in writing and delivering personal development programmes. Miranda uses many of the techniques herself and is an exceptionally fast reader. She has also used some of the study ideas when undertaking her own learning and research and is committed to sharing these incredibly useful and practical techniques with others.
Who should attend?
This is a highly interactive session that has been developed for all councillors.