Perth prison role actors sought by Department of Justice to train guards

It is a world away from the bright lights of Hollywood, and it won’t win you a Golden Globe, but WA authorities are on the hunt for actors to help fulfil an important role preparing guards for a range of “real life” emergencies — including dealing with dangerous criminals.

The Department of Justice has put out the call for “role players” for a range of “scenario-based” training activities, including self-harm incidents, fires and medical emergencies, and conflict resolution situations.

The department wants 14 people to attend training at its Corrective Services Academy. Those hired will be asked to play the role of prisoners, acting out dangerous scenarios to help with the training of guards.

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Role players need to be “capable of action roles such as running and struggling” and be versatile in different situations, but must not have previously spent time in prison or detention.

“In most circumstances, the role players participate in scripted scenarios as prisoners and/or offenders to simulate the real-life environments and scenarios that custodial and community staff may face as part of their duties,” the job ad, listed online, explains.

The department’s director of learning and professional development Scott Lobb said the training ensures staff can practice skills and get feedback in a safe environment before they are ever put to the test on the job in correctional facilities.

“The professional role players take on designated parts in well-designed, scripted, rehearsed scenarios under the direction and supervision of vocationally experienced trainers and assessors,” Lobb said.

“These are immersive, interactive simulations of likely scenarios to ensure staff have the appropriate skills before encountering real emergency situations in the workplace.”

The Department of Justice is looking for actors to prepare guards for emergencies. Credit: AAP

The academy has conducted similar scenario assessments as part of its training regime for 18 years, and these kind of simulations — using independent role players — are commonplace across different government departments.

“The role players are required to provide ‘real life’ scenario training to various Department of Justice personnel to demonstrate the assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency,” the ad reads.

The tender closes on February 6.

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