No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Telephone Skills Training


Is it legal to tape a potential delegates telephone call prior to a training event without their prior knowledge/consent?

The tape will be used as part of the training course feedback.

Many thanks Vanessa
vanessa martin

4 Responses

  1. No.
    No it isn’t. You would need their permission to do so. Could you tell them that a phone call will be made – without telling them when or by whom and ask their permission to be taped?

  2. Unethical
    Dubious legality aside it would also be unethical.

    If you want to do this, then seek their express permission to tape a random conversation during an ‘x week period’ prior to the training, with a reply form sent with the joining instructions/delegate registration pack. If delegates opt out it should not disqualify them from the training.

    However you would also need the permission of the other person involved in the call as well – how will you get that?

    Covert means tend to be counter-productive to effective training anyway – especially if you are using it to focus on the behaviour of a specific individual.

    FYI – one of the main reasons why you sometimes get a recorded message when you ring customer helplines saying “calls may be recorded” is to discourage ‘inappropriate’ calls.


  3. The Law
    Without knowing more of the circumstances we cannot provide advice but some pointers in the right direction appear below.

    It seems potentially cruel and unethical on the bald facts given, but there is insufficient information to judge properly. It may be that making examples of staff behaviour really helps in your organisation and is accepted as helpful and if this is the case then great!

    I have a picture forming in my head of David Brent in ‘ The Office’as I have found most employees in training situations do not want to be singled out in this sort of situation.

    As for the law the following are those we currently teach in respect of the recording and use of telephone calls:
    Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (“RIPA”)
    Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 (“LBP Regulations”)
    Data Protection Act 1998
    Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999
    Human Rights Act 1998

    If this person is also an employee ( and the facts lead me to suppose they are ) then there are over 7 other Employment law areas to consider.

    As a trainer, I cannot imagine under what circumstances surprising a delegate in this way would be in any way useful or helpful to improvement-even if this example was of excellent call handling I could see deep and lasting mistrust of training and trainers as a result of the ‘surprise’.

    In a nutshell get consent, in writing, off the caller and the employee and a willingness to let the material be used detailing in exactly what manner as a training device or come badly unstuck and tangled in the law surrounding this area.

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  4. tel skills
    I assume that you wish to do this to show an improvement in skills and technique? a before an after situation? legalities and ethics aside – I have used an approach for F2F advanced selling skills (both telephone and F2F)where the delegates walk straight into a simulation on day one – prior to any introductions. This provides a solid base point – and has the advantage of allowing the delegate to realise development areas and act upon them throughout the event. If you video this or record on audio, the behavioural / skills changes are clearly evident at the end of the event.

    Happy to discuss – contact me via email


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!