We investigated to what extent correctional officers were able to apply skills from their self-defence training in reality-based scenarios. Performance of nine self-defence skills were tested in different scenarios at three moments: before starting the self-defence training programme (Pre-test), halfway through (Post-test 1), and after (Post-test 2). Repeated measures analyses showed that performance on skills improved after the self-defence training. For each skill, however, there was a considerable number of correctional officers (range 4–73%) that showed insufficient performance on Post-test 2, indicating that after training they were not able to properly apply their skills in reality-based scenarios. Reality-based scenarios may be used to achieve fidelity in assessment of self-defence skills of correctional officers.
Practitioner summary: Self-defence training for correctional officers must be representative for the work field. By including reality-based scenarios in assessment, this study determined that correctional officers were not able to properly apply their learned skills in realistic contexts. Reality-based scenarios seem fit to detect discrepancies between training and the work field.
Abbreviations: DJI: Dutch National Agency for Correctional Insitutes; ICC: Intraclass Correlation Coefficient.