Turn it Around Training


Turn-it-around is committed to providing high quality structured training to organisations, staff teams and individuals.  The training ensures that participants are equipped to support people who experience a range of disabilities.  Turn-it-around challenges the dependency model and complacency that can surround service delivery.  We empower and train participants to work in partnership with the people they support.

Often organisations strive to recruit staff who have values which promote social inclusion, choice and respect for the people they will be supporting.  However staff are rarely trained with the good practical teaching skills, that will ensure that the people they support grow and continue to develop their own skills to become more independent.

We offer courses in:

Training In Systematic Instruction (TSI)

This course is primarily aimed at those working within the field of Supported Employment.  Turn-it-around has also delivered this course to those working in supported living, teachers, occupational therapists and others.

It is a four-day course based on the work of the late Dr Marc Gold who developed a system called “Try Another Way”. TSI takes the approach that it is the responsibility of the trainer (and not the learner) to ensure the task in question is learnt.  It makes no prior judgements on the learners ability to learn a task. The course covers the three key elements of TSI, namely, Value Base, Oranisational Framework and Teaching Strategies.

Participants will amongst other things:

  • Have the opportunity to explore their own values as well as those underpinning TSI. 
  • Learn how to analyse a task to create a task analysis.
  • Be taught a range of teaching techniques and how to use them.
  • Explore the nature of their role as a trainer, learning when and when not to intervene whilst ensuring the people they are supporting move towards independence.

The course offers the opportunity to practice skills learned, with paid consultant learners (learning disabled people).  This element of the course is instrumental in consolidating the participants learning of TSI skills.

Job Analysis

This one-day course is aimed at Job Coaches who work within the field of Supported Employment and wish to develop their skills further in carrying out Job Analysis. The course looks not just at the skills required for a given task/job to be trained, but also the environment, work related considerations and the use of natural supports within the workplace.


Creating a Vocational Profile

A one-day course designed for supported employment staff or those referring to a supported employment service. 

The aim of the course is to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to be able to create an in depth vocational profile with and for each of the individuals they support.  The course covers skills profiling, and the elements of a vocational profile and why it is important to follow a process and not just complete a form.


Job Carving Session for employers

Networking opportunities for employers to come together to learn about how they can create employment for people with learning disabilities within their organisations.  The 2hour long events cover:

  • What is Job Carving?
  • Accessible selection and recruitment
  • Creating opportunities for job carving within an organisation
  • This session is often offered as a breakfast event.


Raising Expectations Course

A half-day course aimed at employers who provide either work experience placements or employment for people with learning disabilities.  The purpose of the course is to assist employers/employees to raise their expectations of their work colleagues who have learning disabilities.

Other non-employment based courses are available

Who We Are

Sarah Bastow

Image of SarahSarah has over 30 years experience of working with people who have a learning disability/autism in a variety of settings including Supported Employment, residential and day services and speech therapy teams. Sarah started working for Gateshead Council in 1989 at a day resource centre for people with learning disabilities moving out of long stay hospitals.  It was here that Sarah met Alison, went on a TSI course, set up a Supported Employment service and stayed in the world of supported employment for 26 years. Sarah who has an HNC in Care Practice and the Certificate for Supported Employment Practitioners, worked as a Job Coach using the TSI techniques on a daily basis to support individuals in their work places for 15 years.

She then moved in to a more strategic employment development role, which included training staff and employers, supporting organisations to develop accessible recruitment practices and exploring self employment with people who had a learning disability or autism.

Working with Alison, Sarah has trained hundreds of staff in TSI and has mentored many staff in Gateshead to embed TSI into their daily practice.

In 2015 Sarah was recognised for her work and contribution to the world of Supported Employment and was awarded BASE Practitioner of the Year.

As the parent of an autistic teenager, Sarah has the additional experience of being the receiver of services, which has informed her training and added a unique perspective.


Alison Dagg

Image of AlisonAlison has a Psychology (BScHons) degree, and has over 30 years experience working within the field of Learning Disabilities and Mental Health. She has worked in and managed a range of services for Adults with Learning disabilities and Mental Health services.  She has worked with both children and adults in statutory services and in the voluntary sector.  She set up and managed one of the first Employment Services in the UK for people with Learning disabilities as a result of attending her first TSI (Training in Systematic Instruction) course in 1990.  Alison has used TSI not only within the field of employment but also within Independent Supported Living services.  She is passionate about the flexibility of this training and its application to teaching people who find it difficult to learn.  After using it for many years in a variety of settings, she has gone on to become a Trainer of TSI.  Alongside Sarah Bastow, she has been delivering Training in TSI for the last 8 years.

Alison also has experience in managing a service for Adults with Autism and challenging behaviour and is a qualified Independent Mental Health Advocate.


Together Alison and Sarah have a wealth of hands on practice and experience spanning over 30 years.  Both trainers are passionate in their belief that anyone regardless of their disability can learn new skills and that it is the trainers’ responsibility to work out how to teach those skills and offer the consistency needed to ensure learning takes place. 

They have been working together, delivering TSI courses for 8 years for Local Authorities in the North East, local providers and the Strategic Health Authority/NHS England.  During that time the courses have been attended by staff from a variety of backgrounds including Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Day and Residential staff in the private and public sector, employment specialists/Job Coaches and staff from Autism specialist services etc.



Jill Smith from the Strategic Health Authority, said:

“Alison and Sarah have delivered Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI) on my behalf across the North East. This was provided through Social Inclusion funding. The evaluation of this has been excellent and I have been delighted with the outcomes. This training was delivered to care and support workers and has made a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged people.”

Anne Marie L from Blyth Star said,

“Excellent trainers, very knowledgeable about TSI training, motivates and encourages you through out the training. A very enjoyable course.”

Sarah M from Sunderland Social Services said,

“I would like to give thanks to Sarah and Alison for making this course an amazing experience.  I have enjoyed every aspect of the course, and every challenge has been rewarding.  I feel that I have been inspired to make a difference to the way I support individuals to empower them and develop their skills in a new and exciting way”

Catherine C from DISC said,

“I would highly recommend the TSI training.  The course was excellently delivered, informative and a very valuable learning experience.  It has really changed how I will work with people”  

Heather G said,

"I had worries about doing the bike brake and really appreciated the additional support from both Ali and Sarah. I didn’t feel inadequate at any point re this and the encouragement was really positive."

Sandra H – teacher said,

"Probably the most inspiring training I have had – and I have had a lot!! Thank You"

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