Department of Health

Occupational violence and aggression - training

Training is integral to building and strengthening knowledge and skills to prevent and manage occupational violence and aggression (OVA) in the workplace. Occupational Violence and Aggression de-escalation (OVA) training for frontline healthcare workers is now available to equip them with skills and knowledge they need to recognise and respond to occupational violence.

The training will be focused on de-escalation knowledge and practical skills for a range of patients and settings. Whilst the training will be delivered to frontline workers including ward clerks, front-of-house staff, health services are able to identify staff who they think will benefit from the training.

There are two training options available:

  • For healthcare workers in low-risk areas, a 1-hour online session
  • For high-risk workers exposed to OVA, a 3-hour in-house face to face workshop (or alternatively offered as 2 x 1.5 hours sessions)

The training is being delivered by highly trained senior psychologists who have extensive experience. All psychologists are AHPRA-registered and work with uncompromising standards to focus on delivering evidence-based and practical outcomes for client

One-hour virtual training for low-risk workers

Participants will be introduced to de-escalation techniques to manage aggressive and violent behaviour in the workplace.  This training will support a consistent approach to the prevention and management of OVA in low-risk settings. The learning outcomes are:

  • Understand what violence and aggression looks like in the workplace
  • Explore common triggers for this behaviour
  • Be introduced to a framework to de-escalate aggressive and violent behaviour
  • Understand key techniques for responding to OVA during and after an incident 

How do I register for the 1-hour virtual online training?

Registration is available via Eventbrite.

Each participant will require access to a computer for the online virtual training.  

Prior to the session, you will receive an email with the link to the workshop, relevant instructions and advice relating to the training and the workshop handbook.

Three-hour face to face training for high-risk workers

This face to face training is available as a 3-hour continuous session or alternatively as 2 x 1.5 hour sessions. Ideally 16-18 participants from a health service will participate in each session.

Designed for frontline health workers who are at a high risk of experiencing OVA in the workplace, participants will explore and apply an evidence-informed model for de-escalation that promotes a consistent approach to the prevention and management of OVA in high-risk settings. Participants will develop competence to apply de-escalation techniques to manage aggressive and violent behaviour in the workplace.  The learning outcomes are: 

  • Understand the importance of taking a safety-first approach
  • Develop capability in the use of static and dynamic risk assessments to identify triggers and warning signs relating to aggressive service user behaviour
  • To raise participants’ confidence and competence to apply proven de-escalation strategies and techniques to manage aggressive behaviour
  • Understand key techniques for responding to OVA during and after an incident

How do I register for the three-hour face to face training?

Please email  to register your organisation’s interest. In your email, please provide the details of a contact person including their name, email address and health service. A Department team member will then contact you to discuss your needs and schedule the training.

How are the training modules different from the e-Learn modules?

The training program has been mapped to the existing e-Learn modules to ensure consistency in messaging between the programs. These training programs have been designed to better enable Victorian health services to meet their training obligations and ensure an appropriate standard of capability and confidence is maintained in regards to OVA de-escalation skills.

The compliment and reinforce information presented within the OVA e-learning modules to support knowledge retention. The live training format of these session (whether virtually or in-person) provides participants with additional opportunity for peer-based learning and they encourage participants to engage in the practical application of their skills within a safe environment.  

Occupational violence and aggression eLearning modules

The department has developed four interactive eLearning modules for health service staff. The eLearning modules align with the elements of core training outlined in the Guide for violence and aggression training in Victorian health services. The eLearning modules include topics such as risk assessment, de-escalation techniques, Code Grey and Code Black roles and responsibilities and reporting incidents.

The four modules form part of one training package and they should be completed in order.




Module 1: OVA: Reading the signs

Module 2: OVA: Working together




Module 3: OVA: Respond to incidents

Module 4: OVA: Put it all together


Post-incident support eLearning module for health service managers

The eLearning module provides tips and guidance on supporting staff after an incident of OVA. It takes about 45 minutes to complete and includes audio-visual material and assessment questions.

Training principles

The Department of Health's Guide for violence and aggression training in Victorian health services provides training principles based on a tiered approach for different staff groups. These best-practice training principles will support consistency in training across the state.

The guide was developed using literature reviews of standards for developing occupational violence and aggression training in emergency and mental health.

Training evaluation framework

The department has developed an evaluation framework (Evaluating occupational violence and aggression training: framework for health services) to help health services assess the effectiveness of their training, and whether it meets the department's training principles. Health services can use the accompanying tool (Evaluating occupational violence and aggression training: tool for health services) to evaluate their training programs.

Other resources

A number of health services have shared their own training resources on responding to occupational violence and aggression.

Reviewed 04 October 2022


Contact details

Worker Wellbeing Department of Health

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