ESCAPE-pain facilitator training | 27 — 28 February 2024


ESCAPE-pain is a 6 week (12 session) evidence-based, group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain of the knees, hips and/or back, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant. It helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple techniques to help manage their pain, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

In order to deliver ESCAPE-pain for knees, hips and backs, professionals are required to attend the ESCAPE-pain facilitator training course. The training is open to clinicians and exercise instructors who meet the pre-qualification criteria (outlined in the table below).

CPD: 10 credits for CIMSPA members

Pre-qualification criteria:

Clinicians Clinical support staff Exercise professionals
  • Basic clinical knowledge of osteoarthritis and low back pain and their management are required, including familiarity with delivering education and exercise to patients.






  • ESCAPE-pain training is appropriate for band 3 or band 4 clinical support staff. Depending on their level of experience they may feel comfortable to deliver the whole programme or they may only feel comfortable to supervise the exercise component, this decision should be made jointly by senior staff and the support worker.
  • Best practice: Clinical support staff (all bands) who undertake ESCAPE-pain training should be supported by a physiotherapist who has also completed the training and can be accessed for ongoing support.
  • To deliver the course independently the clinical support staff member will require a basic knowledge and understanding of OA and/or LBP (depending on which course(s) they are to deliver). Whilst this is covered briefly on the training it is the organisation’s responsibility to ensure that staff delivering the programme are doing so within their scope of practice.

If you are working outside of the NHS or would like more information on the benefits of engaging clinical support staff in ESCAPE-pain delivery, eligibility requirements, and best practice/support required, please view this decision tool.

  • Level 2/3 gym instructor/ personal trainer or equivalent (demonstrating underpinning anatomy and physiology knowledge).
  • Level 3 exercise referral OR a level 4 qualification.
  • At least 150 hours previous experience of working with specialist populations (e.g. exercise referral, cardiac, back care, falls etc.)

All three points must be met in order to attend training. View this decision flow chart tool to help determine exercise professional eligibility to attend training.




The course aims to cover:

The theoretical foundations and evidence-base for ESCAPE-pain (including its clinical and cost effectiveness); the practical skills required to support behaviour change in people to self-manage their OA through developing enhanced motivational interviewing, goal setting, helping people develop action and coping plans, and group facilitation techniques; how to set-up and deliver ESCAPE-pain (including optimising referrals, uptake and retention and how to run each session of the programme); guidance on how to develop and adapt ESCAPE-pain to work within different settings; National Policy and overview of ESCAPE-pain, including ESCAPE-pain in the community; overview of MSK, physical activity and osteoarthritis; understanding the psychology of pain; principles of self-management, motivational interviewing, health behaviour change and group facilitation; group exercise management; healthy eating guidance; methods of managing pain and sustaining physical activity and other health behaviours.

In order to deliver the ESCAPE-pain classes and become ESCAPE-pain facilitators, professionals are required to attend the ESCAPE-pain training course. The course is open to clinicians and exercise professionals who meet the pre-qualifcation criteria. 


Course programme timetable | 27 February: 9.00 – 16.00

Start: 09:00

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • ESCAPE-pain: the fundamentals
  • ESCAPE-pain structure

Lunch Break

  • ESCAPE-pain structure cont.
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Recap and questions

Close: 16:00

Course programme timetable | 28 February: 9.00 – 12.00

Start: 09:00

  • Motivational interviewing cont.
  • Implementing ESCAPE-pain
  • Referral pathways and setting up ESCAPE-pain
  • Overview of resources available for both programmes
  • Summary and questions

Close: 12:00


After completing the training course:

Facilitators will receive a suite of resources (including access to and support from our help-desk team) that will enable them to implement and deliver the programme. 


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    ESCAPE-pain facilitator training | 27 — 28 February 2024
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Event Details

Existing ESCAPE-pain sites (Clinicians and Exercise professionals from existing sites, i.e. sites delivering either ESCAPE-pain programme: for knees/hips and/or for backs)
 - £400.00
New ESCAPE-pain sites (Clinicians and Exercise professionals from new sites, i.e. sites not delivering either ESCAPE-pain programme: for knees/hips and/or for backs)
 - £500.00
Cancellation policy

Order a printed copy of the training manual:

NB. this is ESCAPE-pain’s previous (2023) version* – ESCAPE-pain facilitator training manual (knees, hips, backs)
Original price was: £10.00.Current price is: £5.00.