Role-Play Skills Check

Role-Plays: Test your ability to remain impartial

Example 1

You are dealing with a complaint from a customer about the actions of the security team. A child was recently lost in the centre. The security team then acted in accordance and followed the ‘lost child’ policy. They were all dispatched with the appropriate description to look for the child and all CCTV cameras were used. The child was eventually found by another member of the public. The customer wants the security team disciplined for not finding the child. Do you think the security team should be disciplined?

The answer is ‘NO’. Given that they acted in accordance and followed the ‘lost child’ policy it would be unfair to suggest or agree for disciplinary action to be considered. Thus, if you agreed with the customer and suggested that action would be taken against the security team, this could result in a ‘D’ grade for diversity.  Clearly, although the policy was followed, perhaps a review of the policy is required…

Example 2

You are dealing with a complaint from a customer about the actions of a Customer Service Officer. The Customer Service Officer recently approached the child of the customer in the centre as they were climbing on a temporary wall. The centre has a policy that does not permit anyone climbing on walls. A statement from the Customer Service Officer confirms the situation took place and they did ask the child to remove themselves. During the course of the role-play the role actor informs you that the Customer Service Officer shouted at the child and asked them to remove themselves from the wall for Health and Safety reasons. The customer wants the Customer Service Officer sacked. Do you think the Customer Service Officer should be sacked?

The answer is ‘No action will be taken at this time’. Although they have enforced the policy, you should be concerned that the Customer Service Officer shouted (this is unprofessional), so you will want to speak to them before any decision is made. Again, if you agreed that they should be sacked, or completely defend the actions of guard, you run the risk of being awarded a grade ‘D’ in Race and Diversity for being biased. Clearly, although the policy was followed, it would be advisable to speak with the Customer Service Officer about the allegation of ’shouting’ before any decision is made. You should apologise and then reassure the role-actor that action will be taken if the guard’s behaviour, following your investigation is found to be inappropriate. But until they have been spoken too, no action will be taken.

Example 3

You are dealing with a complaint from a storeowner about a member of public. The storeowner is accusing a member of public of causing damage to their window recently. The member of public has recently threatened the storeowner. You question the storeowner and they inform you that they didn’t see the member of public cause the damage because they were in the stockroom at the time of the incident. They are however adamant that the individual they suspect is the culprit because they have made previous threats and they want the individual banned from the centre. Do you think the customer should be banned from the centre?

The answer is ‘No action will be taken at this time’. Although they may have threatened them previously, at this time there is insufficient evidence to ban anyone from the centre. You will however investigate the incident and take the necessary action to resolve the matter. Whoever the culprit is will be dealt with but at this time no action will be taken.

Example 4

You are dealing with a complaint from a customer about a vendor in the centre. The vendor has been given permission to be in the centre. The vendor is from Eastern European background and is allowed to provide eyebrow treatments to customers in the allotted area and on specific days. You question the customer and they inform you that they feel that this type of vendor is not good for the reputation of the centre and wants them removed. Do you remove the vendor?

The answer is ‘No’. All vendors are welcome in the centre regardless of their background. The centre will not act with prejudice and will certainly not remove anyone because of his or her ethnicity. You should ask the customer politely to stop their behaviour, change their views and suggest in the future they abide by the equality policy as this supports the centre.

Example 5

You are dealing with a complaint from a storeowner about a customer service officer. The storeowner recently approached the customer service officer when they were passing, about problems they were having with a group of Asian youths. You question the storeowner and you are told that the customer service officer stated that they didn’t want to get involved, because the group were Asian. The storeowner wants the group banned from the centre. The main duties and responsibilities state that customer service officers are to investigate and deal with complaints from those who are unhappy. The storeowner feels that some disciplinary action should be taken against the customer service officer. Do you ban the youths, and do you take disciplinary action against the customer service officer?

The answer is ‘No’ you do not agree with the vendor on their views.  The centre will not act with prejudice and will certainly not ban any groups on the basis of their ethnicity. You should however apologise for the customer service officers behaviour and state that just because the group were Asian was no reason to dismiss their concerns. You will of course be speaking to the customer service officer about their behaviour, but no action will be taken at this time. Action will be taken if the behaviour of the Customer Service Officer is deemed inappropriate. You should then ask about what problems they have been experiencing. If they are genuine and not prejudice, you will take action to resolve this matter. But you will certainly not take action just because the group were Asian.

Finally, you should then remind them that as a storeowner they cannot be prejudice. Ask them politely to stop, change their behaviour and in future abide by the equality policy as this supports the centre on equality matters.

Note: It is absolutely vital that you are polite throughout your role-plays. Under no circumstances should you be aggressive or need to raise your voice. When challenging colleagues or storeowners remember you are merely a concerned colleague helping them with issues and making suggestions.

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Published by

David Vidgen

David Vidgen is a former police recruitment manager responsible for overseeing all police recruitment marketing including application form and assessment centre practice days, recruitment website, adverts and community outreach programmes such as Gay Pride.