Workers across wide-ranging industries are experiencing an escalation in the incidence and intensity of customer misbehaviour, from incivility and verbal abuse to physical aggression and violence.

Text on a colour block: Did you know across Australia serious claims relating to occupational violence have risen 128%?*

*Australian Workers' Compensation Statistics 2019-20 'Serious claims for being assaulted by a person or persons more than doubled since 2000-01 (up by 128%)'. Safe Work Australia, November 2021.

Text on a colour block: This is the largest percentage increase in ANY mechanism of injury or disease*

*Australian Workers' Compensation Statistics 2019-20 'Serious claims for being assaulted by a person or persons more than doubled since 2000-01 (up by 128%)'. Safe Work Australia, November 2021.

The Respect & Resilience program

Designed in conjunction with Griffith University, the Respect & Resilience program's objective is to support employers and workers to minimise the impact of customer misbehaviour. The program contains a range of resources including:


Online learning modules

Train the Trainer program

Supporting materials

  • What is customer misbehaviour?

    Customers are part of every business, whether they're guests, visitors, stakeholders, or clients.

    Customer 'misbehaviour' refers to a range of negative ways customers can act and often follows an escalating pattern.

    This can include lower-level acts like incivility and higher-level acts of abuse as well as even more severe and more commonly reported aggression. Causes of customer misbehaviour vary.

    Some factors can be managed by the employer or the worker, while others relate to the customers characteristics. We are here to help you navigate the factors an employer and worker can influence.

    A flow of 3 photos in a row with a word underneath each image with arrows pointing from left to right. The first photo shows a young man frowning at the camera, the word Incivility is under the image. The arrow points to the right for the image of a customer at a supermarket leaning in and talking to the worker at the checkout, the word Abuse is under the image. The arrow points to the right for an image of a man yelling, the word Aggression is under the image.


Training is focused on what a customer-facing worker can influence and control when they are 'on the job'. It provides workers with practical strategies to understand, prevent, contain and cope with customer misbehaviour.

Importantly, it acknowledges all workers deserve to be treated with respect and that many causes of customer misbehaviour are beyond the worker's control.

The program is not recommended for clinical, first responder or complex mental health-related issues.

  • What does the training cover?

    Participants learn to deal with difficult customer interactions through activities, self-reflection and skills practice. Customer-facing workers are empowered to navigate and de-escalate customer misbehaviour while staying psychologically safe.

    The training explores practical ways to build resilience and better cope with customer challenges.

    Participants will gain confidence and competence to:

    • reduce the incidence of customer misbehaviour through early detection and awareness
    • apply strategies to get a customer on side
    • enhance skills to contain or de-escalate customer misbehaviour
    • better cope if exposed to customer misbehaviour.
  • How is training delivered?

    For flexibility we have developed the following options for the training to be delivered:

       Workshop  Online learning modules
    Duration  3.5 hours Three modules requiring approximately 20 minutes each to complete

    Face-to-face or virtually

    At a mutually-agreeable time with your organisation and icare

    Online self-paced

    Flexible learning

    Skills practice Tailored scenarios to suit your industry or organisation Common scenarios
    Facilitation Experienced facilitator for the duration of the workshop No external support during self-paced learning
    Want to find out more? Contact the injury prevention team Online learning modules
  • How will your organisation benefit?
    • build a supportive workplace culture
    • develop skills and confidence among workers
    • reducing the risk and impact of occupational violence
    • improving employee retention, reduce absenteeism and workplace injuries.
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Online learning modules

Complete the online learning modules to increase skills and knowledge about understanding, preventing and coping with customer misbehaviour. Check out the Training section to learn more about the content. 

Make sure you have approximately 20 minutes set aside to complete each module in one sitting as your progress will not be saved.

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Train the Trainer program

The Train the Trainer program is a full-day workshop delivered face-to-face. It is designed for larger organisations with the capacity to deliver the Respect & Resilience program in-house.

  • How will your organisation benefit?
    • in-house Respect & Resilience trainers to deliver the program
    • optional assistance from icare to co-facilitate the first in-house session.
  • What will participants gain?
    • in-depth knowledge of the Respect & Resilience training program
    • background and overview of the workshop
    • experience the full workshop
    • in-depth knowledge of content from the trainer perspective
    • all training material to deliver the program.
  • How many people in your organisation should attend?

    We encourage you to include at least two people from your organisation to become trainers.

  • Are there prerequisites?

    Participants are required to have proficient facilitation skills and support from the organisation to implement the program. An application form must be completed and approved by icare for your place to be confirmed.

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Supporting materials

Reinforce the key messages in the Respect & Resilience program by using the supporting materials below in visible areas of your workplace, part of team debriefs or your organisation’s intranet.

five coloured circles with text inside each one that says Build a connection, Manage your emotions, See it from their side, Be aware of your biases, Be yourself

Our five customer service tips

Want more information?

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