Court Skills Training Package

Course description

DNA is offering one and two day courses for professionals and others working in social care who need court skills training as their duties may require them to attend family and other courts. The aim of the courses will be to ensure that students become familiar with court processes and procedures. Students will achieve an understanding of their role in court and crucially will gain the confidence to enable them to give their evidence in, for example, contested cases.

Both courses are structured around a combination of presentations, exercises and interactive sessions to develop court skills. The two-day course will have a mock court hearing with students playing the significant roles in court scenarios.

The courses will be open to all personnel involved in social care and Family issues. The courses can be tailored to experienced staff or those more newly qualified or appointed. Past courses have shown a mixture of experience is more beneficial to all present.


Course outcomes

  • Provide an understanding of procedures in Magistrates, County and High Courts in Criminal, Civil and Family cases.
  • Examine the different roles that those attending court are required to perform, explaining who does what, when, why and how.
  • Deal with being a witness in court. This will cover many of the practical issues e.g. forms of address in the different courts, the procedures adopted in court and the personal preparation for attending court.
  • Deal with giving evidence, e.g. the process and practice, dealing with lawyers, handling cross examination, making sure evidence is heard and presented to the best effect so the court hears and understands what is wanted to be put across.


DNA can additionally offer bespoke curt skills training written to meet the individual needs of local authorities and other organisations whose staff may also be required to give evidence. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Course Tutors

The tutors on the courses have an in-depth knowledge and experience of the court system.

Guy Woodward qualified as a Solicitor in 1975, eventually becoming the senior partner in the family law firm employing 85 people. He specialised in Family Law and practised in the Family Proceedings Courts, County Courts and High Court. Guy has acted for local authorities, attending case conferences, preparing and conducting cases in court and working with Social Workers. He has vast experience in working with Children’s Guardians and apart from representing children, regularly represented parents and grandparents. Guy is a former President of Bath Law Society, a member of the Solicitors for Children Association, and has delivered lectures to Social workers and other professionals on child care issues. He also sat on the Bishop of Bath and Wells Child Protection panel.


Peter Norris for fourteen years has been an independent consultant, and trainer for local authorities’ social service departments and national children’s charities. Peter has chaired family proceedings courts for fifteen years and is also a member or chair of a number of different panels and first-tier tribunals. He works extensively in the west of England and Wales, including with a branch of the Welsh Assembly. Formerly Peter has managed children’s charities, been a regional delegate on the Divorce Law Reform, Chair of a Family Panel (and chair of various associated ad hoc family law groups) and the trustee of a family contact centre.


Ursula Norris has worked in child care for over 20 years. Graduating from Southampton, with post grad qualifications from UWE, she has been a social worker, senior and team manager. Latterly for nearly a decade she has been a Unit Manager at a Secure Unit. She has taken numerous cases through the legal system and given evidence in courts in England and the Republic of Ireland. Ursula has also considerable experience in training staff in child protection.



  • “Excellent delivery, very effective, delivered by experienced professionals, has been invaluable!” Social Worker – Gloucestershire
  • “Great clarity and concise training, mock court hearing really helps” Social Worker – Gloucestershire
  • “It was very effective using role play to act out the court scenario.” Social Worker – Gloucestershire
  • “Terrific days, excellent trainers” Social Worker – Torbay
  • “Brilliant practical experience of being in court.” Social Worker – Torbay
  • “Really useful to have a solicitor & magistrate with first-hand knowledge & experience” Wider Children’s workforce – Bristol
  • Presentation – very good, made the court system easier to understand! Wider children’s workforce – Bristol


 Full course list

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