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Safe Practice Effective Communication (SPEC) is a four-day, District Health Board (DHB) based national training course which supports best and least restrictive practice in mental health inpatient units. This four-day course includes training in restraint minimisation, communication, de-escalation, collaborative ways of working, and the teaching of personal restraint and breakaway techniques. All four days must be completed by participants, with the balance of content being focused on prevention and early effective communication.
There is a National SPEC Collaborative Governance Board that meets regularly to oversee the implementation and development of SPEC across New Zealand. Please see copies of minutes below.
Governance Board Members:
Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui currently provides administrative support to the SPEC programme. Contact Rachel Kapeli if you have any questions.
Staff members who work in DHB mental health inpatient services.
Some parts of the SPEC training programme such as least restrictive practice principles and communications skills training do have a wider application but there are also aspects of the training that only apply to an inpatient mental health setting.
At this time, you can enquire via your local DHB if they provide training opportunities for other areas of mental health and health services, and/or register your interest in future developments with the collaborative by contacting Jeff Hammond.
No. Attending a SPEC course provides you with the skills to provide a best practice, least restrictive response in mental health inpatient services. It does not provide the skills, authority or permission to teach SPEC to others.
There is a specific course and selection process to become a SPEC trainer and DHB staff who wish to become SPEC trainers can enquire about this via their local Director of Mental Health Nursing, or a current local SPEC trainer.