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Rethinking Decisions

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The Occam Group was formed in order to provide specialist training to managers and professionals working within the care & support sectors.

It was recognised at the very beginning that a substantial part of providing care & support involves the making of critical decisions, i.e. decisions that could have a major – and possibly irreversible – effect on the lives of vulnerable people, people being cared for who, for whatever reason, are unable to make such crucial decisions for themselves.


One would think that training in such a vital skill is already available – but apparently it’s not. There are courses available in commercial decision making, but such courses – important though they are – deal with decision making from a business and financial standpoint.


They do not look at decisions from a human perspective, and so their relevance to a care & support setting is debatable. Hence the need for Rethinking Decisions – a 3-day course which has been specifically designed to look at the intricacies of critical decision making from a caring viewpoint.

Rethinking Decisions starts off by looking at how factors such as management systems and human psychology can influence decision making, and then goes on to analyse a wide range of source materials such as UK Serious Case Reviews; official enquiries into NHS hospitals (for example the questions asked about Gosport War Memorial Hospital); and the investigation into the Hillsborough football stadium disaster.

However, this look at illustrations from real-world decision making doesn’t stop with the UK. Valuable insights are also drawn from classroom discussions and exercises on topics based on international sources including:

  • psychological research conducted by the US Naval Air Warfare Centre;

  • the findings of the 1912 Board of Enquiry into the sinking of RMS Titanic;

  • and the official enquiry into the aircraft collision at Tenerife Airport in 1977 which cost 583 lives.


But it’s not all doom and gloom – we also consider what can be learnt from gambling at Monte Carlo, and how the presence of Transylvanian werewolves affect an age old puzzle!


Having looked at some of the complexities involved in critical decision making Rethinking Decisions comes to a close by showing delegates a practical, tried and tested, model for critical decision making which is based on a methodology applicable to real-world situations.


To summarise: the course is challenging – and it’s designed to be – but there’s going to be something in there for each and every person who is called upon to make critical decisions.

This course lasts 3 day, and costs  £495+ VAT per person.

Learning Outcomes:

To broaden delegates’ understanding of the main processes which underpin the making of effective critical management decisions within the care and support environments.



  1. Understand what is meant by the term “critical decision making”

  2. Understand how management systems can impact on critical decision making

  3. Appreciate what is meant by the term “risk”

  4. Recognise some of the barriers which may hinder the decision making processes, i.e. issues such as such as heuristic bias and the use of assumptions

  5. Gain an understanding of the practicalities involved in making critical decisions


Day 1

  • What is meant by the term “critical decision?”

  • Risk in decision making

  • How management systems can affect decisions

  • When management systems fail (including reference to Serious Case Reviews etc.)

  • The psychology of effective decision making

Day 2

  • The psychology of effective decision making (continued)

  • Communications (including discussions around the Tenerife air disaster and the enquiry into Gosport War Memorial Hospital)

  • Consolidation exercise (group exercise looking at a Serious Case Review – “The Case of Mr C”)

Day 3

  • Practical decision making

  • Outcomes (dealing with distressed relatives)

  • Summary of course

  • Exam – multiple choice format

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