Mechanical Restraints and Emotion

Unfortunately, attitudes to using restraints are often driven by a lack of understanding. Managers of institutions, for example, may be opposed to the use of handcuffs — because they associate any sort of restraint with punishment or even torture. But this  is a largelyemotional response which although well-intentioned, can actually increase suffering and risk.

Mechanical Restraint and the Hierarchy of Risk

A more logical approach comes from the Health and Safety Executive, which sets out a ‘hierarchy of risk’ designed to minimise risks to workers and others in a wide variety of situations. Take the issue of moving someone within an institution. After considering whether the move is necessary at all, the next stage in the hierarchy is to reduce the risk involved in the move as much as possible. Its at this stage that ‘work equipment’, which includes mechanical restraints, may be appropriate.

HSE therefore recognises that mechanical restraints need to be considered before other risk-reduction steps, such as Personal Protective Equipment. Obviously, the potential costs of using mechanical restraint for all concerned must be understood. However, used sensibly, mechanical restraint can:

  • reduce risk of injury to the person being restrained
  • reduce risk of injuries to others interacting with that person
  • reduce the length of time for which restraint is necessary

IBA UK give you both the theory and the practice

IBA UK’s training is designed for anyone that may be called on to use mechanical restraint, such as care staff and security operatives. We give you a clear picture of the law surrounding this complex issue, how to make the most appropriate decisions and the optimal ways of using mechanical restraints.

By the end of the course, you’ll be confident in using handcuffs and other restraints and have a solid understanding of when they should be used.

Highfield Level 3 Award in the Safe Use of Mechanical Restraints (Handcuffs) (RQF)


The Highfield Level 3 Award in the Safe use of Mechanical Restraints (Handcuffs) (RQF) has been developed to prepare learners for employment and/or support a role in the workplace.

This qualification is aimed at learners who are SIA licence to practice qualified security and safety staff, along with civil enforcement and community safety accredited persons. This programme covers the law and legislation surrounding the use of mechanical restraints (handcuffs) and teaches learners the safe and effective use of mechanical restraints (handcuffs).

Download summary fact sheet

Download full course details


The total qualification time for this qualification is 12 hours. Of this, 8 are guided learning hours.


This qualification is assessed by an open response workbook and a practical assessment.


The qualification will cover the following topics:

  • Types of mechanical restraint (handcuffs)
  • The law and good practice guidelines relating to mechanical restraints (handcuffs)
  • Safe working practices and responding to medical difficulties
  • Post-incident considerations and reporting
  • Safely applying and removing mechanical restraints (handcuffs) to a compliant subject
  • Safely applying and removing mechanical restraints (handcuffs) to a non-compliant subject.

Entry Requirements

To register for this qualification, learners must be 18+. It is also recommended that learners have a basic level of English and numeracy skills before enrolling onto this course.

As part of the entry requirements learners should have current Security Industry applicable physical skills e.g. physical intervention or control and restraint, however, military, police, prison service etc experience is also appropriate.

Photo and ID Requirements

You will need to bring ID with you to be able to sit the exams.  If you have a current Passport and a photo driving licence these will be ideal.  Please refer to the ID requirements sheet which you will be sent with your joining instructions to make sure you will have the correct and sufficient amount of ID to be able to do the course and sit the exams.

Joining Instructions

On receipt of your completed enrolment form and course fee, you will receive detailed and informative instructions.  This will include information on the distance learning unit you will need to complete prior to attendance.


In the unfortunate event you have to cancel your course a cancellation fee may apply.

  • Cancellation fees are as follows:
  • Cancellation within 21 days of the start date: 50% of course fee applies.
  • Cancellation within 7 days of course start date or non-attendance:  full course fee applies.

Deposits are non-refundable.


On successful completion of this qualification, learners may wish to continue their development by undertaking one of the following qualifications

  • Highfield Level 2 Award for Working as a Door Supervisor within the Private Security Industry
  • Highfield Level 2 Award for Working as a Security Officer within the Private Security Industry
  • Highfield Level 2 Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry
  • Highfield Level 3 Award for Deliverers of Physical Intervention Training within the Private Security Industry
  • Highfield Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative within the Private Security Industry

CALL US NOW TO ENROL ON 01793 855090 or email


Upcoming Training Courses

all-day CCTV Training, SIA Level 2 @ IBAUK Headquarters
CCTV Training, SIA Level 2 @ IBAUK Headquarters
Nov 1 – Nov 4 all-day
CCTV Training, SIA Level 2 @ IBAUK Headquarters
Highfield Level 2 Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry (RQF) You cannot get your SIA licence without first attending this training course and gaining the CCTV qualification. Once you have your licence you can start earning and have an exciting career in the security industry using the skills you have learned. See full course details Duration Courses are delivered over four days. Plus, for those who do not hold the Unit 1 ‘Working in the Private Security Industry’ already, learners will be required to complete distance learning for Unit 1 before attending this training through home study.    


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