ImROC’s training provides learning space aiming to equip trainees with a strong understanding and commitment to providing values led support.

Our training rooms are a safe place for everyone to practice and adopt our values that are fully aligned with the HEE peer support competency framework.

View the HHE Peer Support Competency Framework


The experience of peers who give and gain support is never identical, but peer support is based on connections born out of shared experience. Peer workers bring experiential understanding of living with mental health challenges and/or long-term conditions, the meaning of being defined as a ‘patient’ in our society and the confusion, loneliness, fear and hopelessness that can ensue.


Traditional relationships between mental health professionals and the people they support are founded on the assumption of an expert (professional) and a non-expert (patient/client). Peer relationships involve no claims to such special expertise, but a sharing and exploration of different world views and the generation of solutions together.


Mental health professionals often prescribe the ‘best’ course of action for those whom they serve. Peer support is not about introducing another set of experts to offer prescriptions based on their experience, e.g. “You should try this because it worked for me”. Instead, they bring their own belief in others to support them  to recognise their own resources and seek their own solutions. “Peer support is about being an expert in not being an expert and that takes a lot of expertise.” (


Peer support engages in recovery-focused relationships by: Inspiring HOPE and belief that things will get better: they embody possibility and are in a position to say ‘I know you can do it’ to help generate personal belief, energy and commitment with the person they are supporting. Supporting people to take back CONTROL of their personal challenge, the way they understand, cope and manage them and define their own destiny. Facilitating access to OPPORTUNITIES that the person values, enabling them to participate in roles, relationships and activities in the communities of their choice.

Being recovery-focused means, we are seeing the whole person, their goals and ambitions, the language they like to use, and supporting them to heal from what has happened to them at their own pace in the ways that are meaningful to them and understanding that this looks different to everyone.

It doesn’t mean we are expecting anyone to ‘recover’ or that ‘recovery’ is the end goal, but journeying with someone and knowing that no journey is linear.

Creating a recovery focused culture


Peer support involves a relationship where the person providing support is not afraid of being with someone in their distress. But it is also about seeing within that distress the seeds of possibility and creating a fertile ground for those seeds to grow. It explores what a person has gained from their experience, seeks out their qualities and assets, identifies hidden achievements and celebrates what may seem like the smallest steps forward.

Community facing

Being a ‘peer’ is not just about having experienced mental health challenges, it is also about understanding the meaning of such experiences within the communities of which the person is a part. This can be critical among those who feel marginalised and misunderstood by traditional services. Someone who knows the language, values and nuances of those communities obviously has a better understanding of the resources and the possibilities. This equips them to be more effective in helping others become a valued member of their community.


Peer support is not a static friendship, but progressive mutual support in a shared journey of discovery. The peer is not just a ‘buddy’, but a travelling companion, with both travellers learning new skills, developing new resources and reframing challenges as opportunities for finding new solutions.


Supportive peer relationships involve the negotiation of what emotional safety means to both parties. This can be achieved by discovering what makes each other feel unsafe, sharing rules of confidentiality, demonstrating compassion, authenticity and a non-judgemental attitude and acknowledging that neither has all the answers.

Risk, Safety and Recovery

We feel that working with these 8 core values is a great barometer of how these 8 values are the foundation of peer to peer relationships, they provide the parameters and the barometers of our training, but all are grounded in a culture of equity.


Equity means making sure that everyone has access to the support they need in the way that they need it and actively working to remove barriers that prevents them getting their needs met. Without equity, peer support work cannot take place.