Safety-Care® Standards and Recommendations Regarding COVID-19

Specialist initial or recertification training may be conducted by presenting the curriculum remotely. If so, training is conducted via live (not recorded) two-way audiovisual connection between the trainer and each trainee throughout the training. Standard trainer to trainee ratios must be followed (1:10, 2:20).

Physical and verbal competencies may be demonstrated but not tested during the online training. Following remote training, the trainer can meet with trainees 1:1 or in groups to demonstrate competencies (if necessary) and test them. The regular Safety-Care errorless teaching procedure is used (in person), and the usual standards for completion of each competency still apply. Role-Plays can also be done 1:1 or in small groups.

Testing of physical procedures that require contact must be done with another person (not with a mannequin, in pantomime, etc.).

Note that we do not expect this modified remote training option to continue indefinitely, but plan to continue it while pandemic training modifications are necessary for much of North America. We will not remove this option without providing at least 3 months’ notice to Safety-Care users.

Safety-Care Modules

The same standards as above also apply to Safety-Care modules, except as noted below.

The lecture portions of the School-Age Children module can be trained remotely. Unfortunately, the Advanced Skills module requires in-person training.

The first two sessions of Safety-Care for Families can be trained via live, two-way audiovisual connection, skipping competencies (which can be marked as restrictions or trained in person later).

Since trainer training in Safety-Care for Families is done online, there are no modifications to certification periods for trainers.

Abbreviating the Curriculum

Under the COVID-19 Compliance Standards, it is possible to train specialists only in lecture portions of the curriculum. All competencies would be listed as a restriction. Specialists are not certified to use any skills that are listed as a restriction, even if they were previously certified in those skills. Restrictions can be lifted at any time within the certification year. For more information on abbreviating the curriculum, restrictions, or removing restrictions, refer to p. 7-9 in the April 2019 Compliance Standards.

Trainer and Specialist Certification Extension 

QBS is monitoring the continued COVID-19 pandemic in North America and the recent extreme increase in cases caused by the Omicron variant of the virus. We have heard from many Safety-Care organizations that have struggled to keep up with training requirements because of staffing issues. While QBS has always stood for rigorous standards that maintain safety and accountability, we understand that adjustments are necessary for these extreme circumstances.

To help organizations having difficulty training their staff, we will be extending due dates for specialist trainings. Additionally, although our experience has shown that most trainers have been able to stay within current certification expectations, an extension is also being granted for trainers to ensure any expiring trainer certifications do not exacerbate the difficulty in staffing.

Specialist & Trainer Certification Extension

  • QBS is issuing a 3-month certification extension to all certified specialists and trainers with a recertification due date between 1/1/2022 and 3/31/2022 (inclusive).
    • If a specialist or trainer does not recertify by the extended due date, the regular 3-month grace period still applies after that. For example, a specialist last recertified on 3/1/2021 and would normally be due for recertification on 3/1/2022. Because of the due date extension, the due date is now 6/1/2022, and their grace period would end three months later, on 9/1/2022.

If this extension applies to you or your staff, you will see an updated due date reflected in Trainer Connect by 1/28/2022

    Rescheduling Fees Waived thru February

    QBS will be waiving all rescheduling fees for trainer classes held from now until the end of February 2022. Trainers must commit to their new class date to waive the fee.


    • Prioritize staff who have only been specialists for one or two years for recertification as close to the one-year mark as possible
    • Provide extra maintenance training to any staff who go past the one-year mark.
    • Do not delay trainer recertifications because of the extension. The QBS training schedule is filling quickly during the extension period, so we recommend best efforts in attending a recertification class in your area as soon as possible.


    How should the virtual training of specialists be documented?

    Physical and verbal competencies may be demonstrated, but not tested during the online training. At the end of the virtual training, the specialists have been trained in the lecture portions of the curriculum. Specialists are not trained or recertified in competencies until they have demonstrated them in person.

    It’s OK to add these trainings to Trainer Connect. You can leave the training open and finalize them after you have completed the training in person. If you need to finalize the training for certification purposes, you can do that, documenting competencies as restrictions. You can remove restrictions through in-person training at a later time (see p. 7 of the Compliance Standards).

    What other resources does QBS have for trainers, specialists, and families during this time?

    QBS has many blog posts on our website that can help. Our YouTube channel has many videos that are great resources for trainers and specialists. You do not need to be trained in Safety Care to read and view these resources, so these can be shared with any staff member at your agency. More content will be added to our blogs and the YouTube channel. QBS will announce updates to the blogs and our YouTube channel via social media. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get these updates.

    rainers can view recorded versions of Safety-Care live sessions on Trainer Connect. Some topics are relevant only to trainers (e.g., setting up role plays). Some topics include reviews of physical safety or physical management procedures, de-escalation, etc., and would be appropriate for specialists and trainers. Trainers can use these videos during their review sessions with specialists.

    Is it acceptable for trainees to be certified in physical procedures without touching anyone (using a mannequin, by demonstrating at a distance, or by video demonstration)?

    No. We understand concerns about physical contact, but we don’t think it is possible to properly teach anyone how to use potentially risky physical procedures without contact.

    All competencies must be demonstrated with the trainer and trainee in the same room. Any competency that involves physical contact must be demonstrated in the manner they are used, with physical contact. There are a few competencies in the core curriculum that do not require physical contact: Differential Reinforcement, Safety Stance, De-Escalation, and role-plays. All others require contact. Within the School-Age Children module, the Setting Expectations competency does not require contact. All other Safety-Care competencies require contact for certification.

    Why can’t we do the verbal competencies online?

    We are not allowing virtual competency checks of the verbal competencies because we’ve tried it out and are not confident that trainers will be able to teach these procedures to a sufficiently high level of fidelity. It is possible to pretend to use differential reinforcement or de-escalation over an online connection, but we think the trainee is likely to not fully understand the procedure and that these critically important skills would then generalize poorly to actual application. Talking to a screen and watching a talking head respond is, we think, too dissimilar to the actual implementation of these skills. Please note that it is certainly not necessary to touch anyone in order to demonstrate either of these procedures. Differential Reinforcement can, of course, be done standing a few feet from the individual. De-Escalation can be done using Safety Stance (no touch) or the shadowed version of Elbow Check (no touch).

    Interested in Switching to Safety-Care?

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