Knowledge and Understanding Framework

In December 2007 the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice commissioned the development of a national framework to support people to work more effectively with personality disorder. 

As a result the Knowledge and Understanding Framework was developed and is now available nationally at all three levels including:

  • Awareness and Train the Trainers
  • BSc Working with Personality Disorder: Developing Understanding and Effectiveness
  • MSc Working with Personality Disorder: Extending Expertise, Enhancing Practice

This educational development work built upon the aspirations articulated within the policy guidance documents “No longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion and Breaking the Cycle of Rejection” published in 2003. The key goal of the framework is to improve service user experience through developing the capabilities, skills and knowledge of the multi agency workforces in Health, Social Care and Criminal Justice who are dealing with the challenges of personality disorder.

These high quality educational programmes are delivered by leading practitioners and service user consultants. The Awareness Level Programme has a number of packages available including a Train the Trainers version. The BSc and MSc programmes are available as single stand-alone modules (suitable as units of learning such as for CPD), or as whole programmes with associated qualifications. Further details can be found at the KUF website, here.

KUF awareness level training

The awareness level programme is the foundation element of the Knowledge and Understanding Framework and provides students with the underpinning knowledge and understanding required to work more effectively with service users with a diagnosis of personality disorder.

The awareness level programme is made up of six online modules assessable through a virtual learning environment alongside three experiential training days. The modules have been designed with underpinning principles to guide the activities and learning.

These principles are:

  • Starting with the perspectives of people who are doing this work and using these services
  • Connecting service users past experiences with their current behaviours
  • Making sense of reactions and responses within different contexts
  • Developing effective communication skills
  • Developing sensitivity to service user experience
  • Understanding organisations and the importance of teamwork
  • Developing self awareness and critical reflection skills

The six modules are outlined in the diagram below:

Awareness Level Framework

Over the past three years, regional funding has supported the implementation of this training including building capacity of staff and service user trainers across the country.  In 2012 delivery of the awareness training exceeded 15,000 students. Key developments in the awareness training are taking place and a new model for prison staff and reception staff working in probation and primary care settings will be implemented in 2013. Gender specific awareness level training has also been developed to support staff working with women in secure settings. In 2011 a new Protocol was developed to support the national implementation of training.

During 2011 the awareness training was also implemented within a few prisons and criminal justice settings to support the work involved in the development of ‘psychologically informed planned environments’ (PIPEs). These environments are specifically staffed to be ‘user friendly’ to everybody involved in them, by ensuring a high level of respect and understanding and valuing relationships.

To access further information regarding the awareness training please contact KUF Academic Programme Administrator; Julie Lawson via email – Julie.lawson@nottshc.nhs.uk or call 0115 8232415. Further details can be found at the KUF website, here.

To find out who the regional contact for awareness training in your area please contact Karen Sugars on karen.sugars@nottshc.nhs.uk