Teaching Approach to Physical Skills

NAPPI teaches physical skills by using a Graduated Speed Drill approach. This is a method that has been used by NAPPI International for 45 years. Some training providers teach by using simulation, which involves creating true-to-life situations that mirror real-life work scenarios. Teaching physical skills in this way, can increase the risk to participants as the level of force being used is not being controlled by the trainer. In fact, situations rarely unfold at work as planned and practised in training.  

With a Graduated Speed Drill approach, the trainer controls the force that the participants use, firstly cautioning them to use only the amount of pressure required to make their partner “use energy” to escape. Participants are advised that fast speed does not mean ‘full pressure’, as the participants have to learn the skill and build confidence, as well as achieving competence.

Trainers follow the model below:

NAPPI Graduated Speed Drill

1. Three part demonstration
2. Short instructions given through the LEARNING phase x 10
3. Clipped instructions given through the SLOW speed practise x 10
4. Key words only through MEDIUM speed practise x 5
5. Key words only through FAST speed practise x 2


After the first practise session the trainer will vary the amount of speed and pressure used during each practise session. They then increase in a controlled and safe manner throughout each phase of the process. The trainer will continue to use the same approach (step three, step four and step five) but increase the speed and pressure of each session. In this way participants can be successful within their own capabilities and the trainer can fairly assess the participants by considering the anthropometrics (body shape) such as when training participants of different gender.  

See The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale.

See The Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) tool.

See Benner's Stages of Clinical Competence.

See N-10 Skill Selection Tool.

See Anthropometrics.

See Trainer Specification (RRN).

For further information about NAPPI Restrictive Physical skills or Clinical Holding skills and how they link to the NAPPI PBS Model, please call and speak with one of our team.