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Trauma risk management - evaluation of the RNLI pilot

Published: March 2018

Evaluation of a programme created to provide RNLI staff and volunteers with support after potentially traumatic incidents.


Since August 2016, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been piloting a Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) programme for its staff and volunteers, in order to:

  • Provide a support structure to help the RNLI cope with the aftermath of traumatic incidents
  • Deliver effective support to those who need it after such incidents
  • Increase the ability of staff and volunteers to cope with post-traumatic stress.

The RNLI commissioned NatCen researchers to carry out an evaluation of the TRiM programme, aiming to explore its level of success in providing effective support.

Read our full report here.


Key findings

Our researchers found that:

  • Research participants felt that the TRiM programme had delivered real benefits, and that such a service was definitely needed within the RNLI
  • Both survey respondents and case study participants felt that support services were more likely to be available since TRiM's introduction
  • The success of the programme was underpinned by the dedication of TRiM managers, the peer-to-peer connections created by participants, the provision of confidential peer support, and the thoroughness of the programme's training.

Research participants were in agreement that the TRiM programme should be rolled out across the RNLI.



Our evaluation included three main strands:

  • A review of relevant literature and RNLI management information
  • 15 in-depth case study interviews with RNLI local managers, TRiM participants, lifeguards and lifeboat crew in areas where TRiM had been used
  • An online survey, sent out to all RNLI staff and volunteers across the UK and Republic of Ireland, asking them about their experiences of potentially traumatic events, and their views on how best to provide support.