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October 21, 2019

Retail Worker Safety: Keeping your staff safe from abuse

 Retail Worker Safety - Research shows that retailers are most concerned about:

  1. Violence against staff
  2. Theft by customers
  3. Verbal Abuse against staff
  4. Robbery
  5. Anti-Social Behaviour

 "The biggest cause for concern in the report’s findings is the prevalence of violence and abuse against retailers and store colleagues. People working in convenience stores are most vulnerable to violence when they are being responsible members of their community by challenging shop thieves, enforcing age restrictions or refusing to serve intoxicated customers.   Retail crime is not victimless - its impact on the people running, working in and using local shops is lasting, tangible and profound. Everyone connected with our sector, with law enforcement and with the treatment of offenders can play a part in tackling this problem"   (ACS Crime Report 2019)


Dynamis Training Course:

Managing Conflict and Violence Risk in Retail 


This course will be based on Health And Safety Executive INDG423 and HSG133 advice and guidance, to ensure compliance with best-practice in compliance with legal requirements for Retail Worker Safety.


Retail Worker Safety Learning Outcomes:


At the end of our Retail Worker Safety training programme, staff will:



- What is meant by 'Violence at Work' in a retail context

- What is meant by 'Theft' in a retail context

- Your retail organisation's policy* on dealing with key issues (theft, ASB, robbery)

- The objectives of Non-Escalation and De-Escalation of Conflict in retail




- what retail staff Duty of Care is and is not (focus on issues of theft, ASB, robbery)

- the impact that Alcohol, Drugs and the use of Weapons have on situational risk in retail

- Your* (or recommended) procedures for dealing with retail theft

- Your* (or recommended) procedures for dealing with robbery

- the principles of Necessity and Proportionality in using force for self-protection




- practice the target verbal skills in not escalating conflict in retail

- practice how to approach a suspected shoplifter safely

- practice the target verbal skills in dealing with retail -related verbal abuse and intimidation

- how and when to withdraw from potentially dangerous or violent situations

- practice the target verbal skills in de-escalating retail conflict or crisis

- practice how to approach someone presenting anti-social behaviour safely

- practice the target verbal skills in persuasion and influence for retail scenarios

- how to physically protect oneself from assault (fundamentals)


*research shows that the best violence management training is closely aligned with the organisation's own policies and procedures.


In addition to the proposed training above, there may be a need to look at:

- Retail Manager Risk Assessment Training

- Retail Manager Conflict Management (Trainer) Training



An Evidence-Based Contextual Training Approach for Retail Worker Safety

With the help of academic colleagues at Loughborough University, we are continually developing enhanced learning design methodology which ensures that your training budget is spent on best-value activities.   Our training is therefore:


EMOTIONALLY SAFE - delivered in a supportive environment where effort and engagement are rewarded and in which failure is seen as a necessary step towards mastery of target content.

CONTEXTUALISED TO WORKPLACE SCENARIOS - focuses on exploring the complete picture of the most common flashpoint scenarios which are familiar to your team’s experience of the workplace.

FULL-SPECTRUM OF APPROPRIATE RESPONSES - incorporates positional, non-verbal, verbal, emotional, mental and physical attitudes required for a successful, professional response.

PERFORMANCE-ORIENTED -  your learners perform the target skills, often in the face of designed-in, desirable difficulties and receive immediate, objective feedback to improve their performance.

PRACTICE-BASED - your team are repeatedly faced with and engaged in work-like encounters and incidents on which their individual and team performance is assessed from multiple points-of-view.



TRAINING DELIVERY for Retail Worker Safety

The standout features of our training is that it is Practice-based and Performance-focussed - your teams will be up and moving in the training room, exploring scenarios and contexts which are relevant to their work and our training demands that they produce the words, behaviours and strategies in-vivo, in the classroom, so that they retain them better when they go back to their workplace.

Our learners have included customer service representatives from energy companies (Ovo Energy and Kaluza) and financial services (Black Horse Auto-Leasing) in addition to Home Care, Drug and Alcohol Outreach, Domestic Violence and Homeless Support teams from local authorities around the country.


YOUR Retail Worker Safety TRAINER: Dynamis is an Institute of Conflict Management-accredited Quality Award Centre #2201 for the provision of Prevention and Management of Workplace Violence training.


Our Retail Worker Safety trainers have a minimum of the following:

  • BTEC Level 3 PTTLLS Preparing to Teach for Lifelong Learning education qualification
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Self-Defence Instructor Qualification
  • BTEC Level 3 Conflict Management Qualification


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Gerard O'Dea

Gerard O'Dea is the Director of Training for Dynamis. Training Advisor, Speaker, Author and Expert Witness on Personal Safety, Conflict Management and Physical Interventions, he is the European Advisor for Vistelar Conflict Management, a global programme focussing on the spectrum of human conflict.

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