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ESCAPE-pain facilitator training

for knee, hip and back pain

 Already trained to deliver ESCAPE-pain?  Join one of our FREE monthly clinics to get the latest updates and ask questions.

More info at bottom of page.

The ESCAPE-pain programme is a 6 week (12 session) rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, 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 things they can help themselves with, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

The ESCAPE-pain programme supports people living with chronic hip and knee pain or non-specific low back pain:

  • ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips
  • ESCAPE-pain for backs

The two programmes compliment each other, and are taught together within a 1.5 day facilitator training course, however, they are two separate programmes, with their own participant eligibility criteria and session content.

The flexibility of ESCAPE-pain means it can be delivered in a variety of locations and by a range of professionals. The programmes have been successfully delivered in outpatient physiotherapy departments, leisure centres and local community settings by physiotherapists, osteopaths and exercise professionals.

About the facilitator training course

The ESCAPE-pain facilitator training consists of a 1.5 day course, covering ESCAPE-pain for hips, knees and backs.


In order to attend either training course, providers will need to demonstrate they meet the pre-requisites to attend facilitator training. 


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

Clinical support staff

  • 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.

Exercise professionals

  • 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.

Please note: ESCAPE-pain does not have a train the trainer model. By attending ESCAPE-pain training you will be able to deliver the programmes, however, you will NOT be able to train others to deliver it. If you should have any questions regarding the course in general or you eligibility to attend please email us at 

 The full day training covers:

  • 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.
  • Sustaining physical activity and other health behaviours.

The ESCAPE-pain for knee, hip and back training is accredited by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Trained ESCAPE-pain facilitators that are members of this professional body are eligible for 10 CPD points.

After completing the training course, facilitators will receive the following resources and support:

  • Training Manual (for facilitators)
  • Participant booklet (participant handout)
  • Exercise sheets (participant handout)
  • PowerPoint slides: to deliver the education component
  • Marketing templates
  • ​Ongoing implementation advice and support and annual data analysis (if data is returned quarterly to ESCAPE-pain)

CIMSPA have identified the ESCAPE-pain training as enhancing within their quality assurance review, for evidencing good practice within our operations, processes, and procedures, and offering high quality education provision to our learners. Find out more. 

Discover a variety of other CIMSPA-accredited courses to enhance your skills in the fitness and sports sector; explore the full range on their website.

ESCAPE-pain facilitator training - pricing structure



Existing sites

Clinicians and Exercise professionals from existing sites (sites delivering either ESCAPE-pain programme: for knees/hips and/or for backs).



New sites

Clinicians and Exercise professionals from new sites (i.e. sites not delivering either ESCAPE-pain programme: for knees/hips and/or for backs).

Register to attend training

Facilitator training course dates 

Month Dates Course timing Location Course availability    Registration links
JUNE 2024 18 and 19

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 18/06/24 – 19/06/24 registration link
AUGUST 2024 20 and 21

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 20/08/24 – 21/08/24 registration link
SEPTEMBER 2024 17 and 18

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 17/09/24 – 18/09/24 registration link
OCTOBER 2024 15 and 16

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 15/10/24 – 16/10/24 registration link
NOVEMBER 2024 19 and 20

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 19/10/24 – 20/10/24 registration link
DECEMBER 2024 10 and 11

9.00 – 16.00 

9.00 – 12.30

Delivered virtually* Places available 10/12/24 – 11/12/24 registration link

Prior to course registration, please review our cancelation policy and terms and conditions outlined in our memorandum of understanding. A full list of our operational policies, and detailed procedures governing the ESCAPE-pain programme can be accessed here.

Although the hip/knee and back training courses have been combined into a 1.5 day course, facilitators should continue to deliver the two programmes separately. If you would like to deliver the two programmes together (including participants with hip and knee and back pain) please contact

If you’re interested in hosting a face to face ESCAPE-pain facilitator training course for your staff, please get in touch with the team

ESCAPE-pain training: facilitator feedback

Over 2,000 facilitators have been trained to deliver the ESCAPE-pain programmes, demonstrating a strong commitment to increasing access to the ESAPE-pain programme for participants across the UK. Watch the videos below, to see what facilitators have said about the programme:

Already an ESCAPE-pain facilitator with questions? Join the ESCAPE-pain team at our facilitator clinics!

The ESCAPE-pain facilitator clinics are monthly support sessions for trained facilitators from new or existing ESCAPE-pain sites who would like implementation support.

The 1-hour sessions will be focused on answering questions from facilitators on various topics related to implementation of the ESCAPE-pain programme(s). The sessions are open to facilitators trained to deliver either ESCAPE-pain for knees/hips or ESCAPE-pain for backs.

In order to make the most of the sessions we ask that you let us know, in advance, what questions you have or areas you would like covered in greater detail, within the registration form so that we can ensure this content is covered during the session.

ESCAPE-pain Facilitator Clinics
Date Time Location Topic Registration Link
2 May 14:30 – 15:30 Microsoft Teams Education session 6: Medication refresher Register here
9 July 11:00 – 12:00 Microsoft Teams Feedback from providers of ESCAPE-pain for backs Register here
19 September 14:30 – 15:30 Microsoft Teams ESCAPE-pain question and answer session Register here
26 November 11:00 – 12:00 Microsoft Teams What’s next? Supporting participants after the programme Register here