Emergency services trauma intervention programme (ESTIP)

It is inevitable that traumatic incidents will occur in policing and it is important to recognise that these may not be viewed, felt or experienced in the same way by everyone.

This is why we have developed a suite of materials and interventions to support forces to provide trauma and psychological risk support for all staff.

Page updated on 13 June 2023

Organisationally it is essential to have a plan to deal with a range of trauma-related situations and responses if policing is to carry out its role in protecting society.

Working in collaboration with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), we have conducted a review of existing early intervention approaches, and together with expert practitioners, designed a model that reflects the needs of the emergency services. 

Our trauma risk management programme is built around ESTIP and consists of the following phases:

Phase 1:
Phase 2:

How to access this training

We are currently making some changes as to how we deliver these courses. We will be updating the information below at regular intervals, please check back for new dates.

Demobilising and defusing training

This one-day training course covers both demobilising and defusing. Please note, we are not currently running any online courses. This is due to a pilot we are currently running to develop a network of Demobilising and Defusing trainers within forces to enable greater access to this course. We will be contacting those forces who have requested training directly.


Demobilisation is a primary stress prevention conversation that takes places following a traumatic exposure. It involves a short conversation and though normally carried out by a supervisor following a traumatic incident, the role may also fall to a suitably trained peer supporter.

Defusing is provided around three days post incident. It helps assess who may need further help and support. Defusing is a small group process: less structured and aimed at the core group affected the most by the incident. Groups will meet with a defuser, usually a line manager or peer supporter, to hold a defusing session. Individual one-to-one sessions can be held if required.

Demobilising and defusing training covers the following areas:

  • what is traumatic stress
  • organisational responses to traumatic stress
  • listening and responding skills
  • self care
  • demobilising

Further reading

Together with the College of Policing, we have published a guidance document ‘Responding to trauma in policing’. The document, originally published in 2018, has been updated to reflect the current policing landscape, including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Written by Dr Ian Hesketh and Dr Noreen Tehrani, this guidance represents a significant step forward in the journey to improve our understanding of how trauma exposure affects those who work in policing. 

Download guidance (pdf)