Background: Current guidelines and theories on the origin of challenging behaviour in dementia indicate that a structured multidisciplinary approach to its management is necessary. In the Grip on Challenging Behaviour study, a care programme was developed to improve the management of challenging behaviour. Method: In developing the care programme, the overlapping parts of dementia care guidelines were supplemented with discipline-specific parts. Three meetings with experts were arranged to further develop the structure of the care programme and to ensure a good fit with practice. Results: The care programme consists of four steps: detection, analysis, treatment, and evaluation. For each step, forms were developed to guide and structure the process and assign responsibilities for each discipline. As well as a description of the development and the content of the care programme, this paper presents two case studies in which the programme was used. Conclusion: The Grip on Challenging Behaviour care programme provides a way for dementia special care units to manage challenging behaviour in a structured way and with a multidisciplinary approach making use of their own resources. © 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd.