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Tip of the Week: Implementing the NABITA Standards for BITs (Part XV)

NABITA membership has more than doubled over the last year. To help new members implement the NABITA Standards for Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs), and to provide continuing members with a refresher, NABITA is launching a Tip of the Week series specifically focused on the BIT Standards. Twenty standards, twenty Tips of the Week (maybe more) aimed specifically at the practical application of the BIT Standards (Note: the twenty Tips may not be published consecutively so that NABITA can bring you timely updates regarding other topics).

Standard 16. Team Training: Teams engage in regular, ongoing training on issues related to BIT functions, risk assessment, team processes, and topical knowledge related to common presenting concerns.

Participating in routine training on issues related to BIT operations, risk assessment, team processes, equity and diversity, and other critical topical areas is a key function and best practice for BITs. Ongoing team training encourages BIT development while ensuring that individual team members are well-trained for their responsibilities on the team. Equally important, a BIT team should participate in team-building activities, which promote relationship building, trust and communication, enabling the BIT to collaborate seamlessly.

BITs frequently mention a lack of training as their team’s biggest weakness, often citing a limited budget. However, not all team training efforts require the team to spend large sums of money. For example, teams can use books, journals, and self-led tabletop exercises as methods of training, many of which are low-cost or free. That said, based on survey data, webinars and conference attendance are the most common methods of BIT training and development. For recommendations regarding advocating for budgetary support, please review the Tip of the Week for Standard 10.

Practical tip – BITs should assign training topics for each month. As you develop a unique training template, keep in mind that the time to develop a training schedule is not after a crisis and should be done proactively and annually. Consider using NABITA’s “20 minutes to… Trained” video training series, webinars, or “Brief BITs: Tabletop Trainings for the Behavioral Intervention Team, whitepapers, and other resources to build your training schedule.

Tim Cason, M.Ed.

Consultant, TNG