Stress and trauma-informed care and treatment (STRICT) guidance

Page updated on 1 June 2023

Introduction to STRICT

The Stress and trauma-informed care and treatment (STRICT) guidance has been produced in response to the need for police forces to achieve minimum standards when considering the provision of psychological services.

It guides occupational health (OH) and wellbeing teams in delivering services. The National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS) has developed a four-part approach to psychological wellbeing, which aims to give forces an understanding of the main elements and how to consider and tailor them to their organisational needs. In addition, this document aims to ensure that all police forces understand the risks of providing inadequate or incompetent psychological wellbeing activities. It should be noted that responsibility for the delivery, monitoring and effectiveness of mental health programmes, support and interventions rests with each police force.

The four interventions in the NPWS programme are safe and can be used in the situations and circumstances set out in training. The interventions are listed below:

1. Assess the risk
This section examines the assessment of role risk, individuals and situations. The process always begins with hazard identification and risk assessment. The objective of risk assessment is to eliminate risk. However, this cannot always be achieved. The NPWS psychological surveillance process is detailed, together with the levels of competence required.
2. Train and educate
The NPWS training programme aims to create stress and trauma-informed police forces. The standardised training of OH practitioners and peers allows for the delivery of clearly defined support and interventions. This programme ensures that police officers and staff can receive the same quality of support or intervention. This section describes the training packages the NPWS provides, including the trauma support programme, wellbeing training and professional training. Descriptions of trainee competency levels are provided.
3. Respond and support
Identifying the most appropriate level of response is essential. While a manager is the best provider of support, complex issues may need specialist skills. The wellbeing peer support process is explained, which includes demobilising, defusing and post-incident support. This section also covers the psychological surveillance and structured interview model.
4. Treat and refer
Where appropriate, some interventions can be provided to support officers and staff. However, there are times when it is more appropriate to refer to more specialist resources. Whether to offer a further specialist intervention beyond those described in part three is an important decision. These decisions must be directed to OH or a GP. This section also references the NPWS guidance ‘A Staged Approach to Major Incidents’ (2020) and the role of OH in responding to major incidents.

Read the full guidance

The full guidance document goes into great detail, it has been produced as a pdf document that you can download and read in your own time.