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Safety-Care® Standards and Recommendations Regarding Coronavirus Disease

October 15, 2020

Updated October 15th, 2020


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, QBS has made a series of temporary modifications to training standards, certification standards, and training schedule. Our goal is to provide flexibility, support, and safety for our Safety-Care users and those they serve in this extremely difficult time.

Important Links:

- Safety-Care® Infection Control Precautions for Trainer Trainings
- Safety-Care® Infection Control Precautions for Specialist Training

- Safety-Care® Infection Precautions for Physical Management

QBS Training

Training conducted by QBS was halted in March in response to stay at home orders in states and provinces across North America. As these orders have been lifted in each state and province, we are again scheduling in-person trainings with appropriate precautions.


Any trainer or specialist who was within his or her certification period (12 months) plus grace period (an additional 3 months) on March 1st, 2020 has had his or her certification extended. This means that they continue to be certified and are authorized to use the parts of Safety-Care that they were certified in (and teach, if they are trainers).

That extended certification will continue until 6 months beyond the date on which the local state or provincial government declares conditions under which Safety-Care training can occur. There is no grace period beyond that deadline, so after those 6 months pass, a new initial training will be required. Once recertified, anyone whose certification was extended will go back to regular certification standards. 

At this time, training is opened up across the US.  If you want to check the date in which your state was opened for training, please email info@qbs.com.

When do the COVID-19 Compliance Standards end?

The modifications noted in the COVID-19 Compliance Standards end the day after the 6-month extension ends OR when a person is recertified We are nearing the end of the 6-month extension in many places. . For a small number of people, their regular (non-extended) certification date would be later than the 6 month extension. If so, ignore the extension date and go by the regular certification date.

For example, if the stay at home order in your state was lifted on June 1st, then the COVID-19 Compliance Standards apply until December 1st.  On December 2nd, the April 2019 Compliance Standards are back in effect.  A trainer who was due for recertification on April 15, 2020 has until December 1, 2020 to complete their training. 

For example, the 6-month extension ends on December 1st.  The specialist has a due date of November 15, 2020.  In this case, they would need to complete a recertification class by February 15, 2021 (12 months + 3 months grace period).  From November 15, 2020 to December 1, 2020, the specialist will be able to use the skills in which they are certified.  On December 2, 2020, the April 2019 Compliance Standards are in effect.  The specialist is no longer able to use Safety-Care (see p. 4 in the April 2019 Compliance Standards). 

However, at no time may a Specialist or Trainer be certified beyond 24 months from their last certification training.

Note: By continuing to use Safety-Care skills (and teaching them, in the case of certified trainers) beyond the anniversary date, under the modified compliance and training standards, there is an increased risk of injury. QBS will not be responsible for injury occurring on account of the modification of standards. We strongly recommend that anyone past the usual 12-month certification period be recertified as soon as possible.

If a trainer or specialist was past his or her 12-month recertification date plus 3-month grace period prior to 3/1/2020, he or she was expired at the time the emergency occurred and will need to re-take an initial class.

If regulatory or legal standards applicable to the organization require a more frequent recertification cycle, then those standards supersede and take precedence over QBS standards.

Maintenance of Skills

It is expected that any trainer or specialist who is past 1 year from initial training or most recent recertification, and may potentially be called upon to make use of Safety-Care physical skills, receive additional practice and support to assist with maintaining critical Safety-Care skills. That can include small group in-person practice, review of Safety-Care videos, in-person demonstration of Safety-Care skills, or other relevant activities. QBS is providing additional resources that can be used to assist in this process.

Remote Training

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 online training, teaching and practice of competencies is done in person 1 : 1 or in small groups, as described, above.

You can demonstrate (but not test or certify) any of the skills. If you have someone available to be on camera to help you demonstrate, you can do that (they do not need to be trained in Safety-Care to help). Or you can show the video demonstrations available in Trainer Connect. Or you can skip competencies during remote 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.

Modified In-Person Training

We have recommendations for infection control precautions to use when conducting an in-person specialist training at this link.

When conducting a training in person, it is OK to present the curriculum to a standard size group, demonstrating some or all competencies but not requiring trainees to practice them. At the end of the class or at a different time, you can test any competencies that were not tested in the larger class, in 1 : 1 or small group format. 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.

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. Agencies that are currently training High Severity 1 or 2 and have not updated to the Advanced Skills Module may continue to do so until further notice.

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.


We have families who are unable to leave the house at this time. Are we able to offer any part of the training to them virtually? 

No part of standard Safety-Care may be trained to families. Certified trainers can become certified as Safety-Care for Families trainers and provide remote or in-person training to families and others providing support in home or home-like settings. See the QBS website for schedule and information.

How should 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).

How long do we have from the first day of remote presentation to meeting with and checking people off for competency? 

At this time, there is no time limit between the first day and the last day of the training. Keep in mind that if there is an extended break between sessions, a review must be completed (Compliance Standards April 2019, p. 6).

What other resources does QBS have for families during this time? We are not trained in Safety-Care for Families.

QBS has many blog posts on our website that can be helpful to families. Our YouTube channel has many videos that families can watch. You do not need to be trained in Safety Care to read and view these resources. 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.

Blog posts can be found here: https://www.qbs.com/blog-news/

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJgqmPrsXXIm72MFKV110pw

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

QBS has many blog posts on our website that can help trainers and specialists. 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.

Blogs can be found here: https://www.qbs.com/blog-news/

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJgqmPrsXXIm72MFKV110pw

Trainers 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.

We started the training, but didn’t finish it, because of closure or stay at home orders.  What should we do?

In this case, it may be best to certify the staff with restrictions.  They will need to take the written test for the sections of the curriculum that were completed.  Enter the information into Trainer Connect.  Anything not completed would be a restriction.  Those restrictions can be lifted later. 

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 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).

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