What the client wanted

Impromptu were approached to provide a range of simulated customers from a variety of social, business and educational backgrounds to support this 5-day development programme for Vauxhall Business Managers. The programme features a combination of training and development with a featured summative assessment (role play plus written examination) as the course finale.

What we did

The course is attended by potential, new or existing Business Managers, responsible for the motor customer from the point of ‘decision to buy’. They are FSA regulated, and the course and role plays provide opportunity to practice product presentations within the required legal and ethical framework, using computer assisted quotation services. The combination of knowledge, technological and communication requirements makes for a challenging and dynamic training environment.

Working intensively with a typical cohort of nine delegates in three facilitated groups, the learners develop skills in explaining a range of in-house finance and insurance products, simultaneously exploring their product knowledge, process knowledge and people management skills.

Delegates develop familiarity with the role-play methodology in exercises with their peer group and trainers on days 1-2, and the Impromptu team join on days 3-5, 5 being the formal assessment. Role plays are typically 40-60 minutes duration, providing a valid context for a complete customer appointment. Role players work closely with the facilitators before, during and after each role-play to tailor the materials to the needs and experience of individual candidates. In addition we routinely provide logistic support, e.g. in preparing the day’s rotations.

Business Manager’s entrance to the final assessment requires two role play ‘passes’ in advance of day 5. With a pass score of 80% the stakes are high, so Impromptu role players routinely offer coaching support in addition to the timetabled sessions for any candidates short on entry credits, or feeling concerned about any aspect of the assessment.

As with the majority of Impromptu’s work extended, timely, evidenced feedback is a core requirement, and anecdotally evidenced feedback suggests that this is typically well received. Feedback is direct to the delegates during the training and coaching, and to the facilitator/assessors during the end assessment.

The outcomes

The outcomes are reflected in the high pass rate for the programme, and the observed (and sometimes startling) improvements and insights that particular individuals demonstrate during the course of the 5 days.

The assessment is no token – failure has serious implications, so we are delighted to be able to support such a critical programme that effectively combines teaching and testing using a continuous methodology.