We recruit and train individuals to participate as simulated and standardized clients in our large-scale clinical examinations and educational programs.
We look for SCs with the following skills:
- Good listener
- Strong communicator
- Ability to convey ideas and emotions
- Reliable, courteous and professional
- Accepts constructive feedback and adjusts accordingly
- Ability to follow detailed instructions and reproduce simulation consistently
- Experience scoring or providing feedback to participants
- Improvisational skills
Touchstone Institute recruits SCs for a number of clinical and non-clinical roles:
- History-taking roles unfold as a conversation between the candidate (or trainee) and the SC in a clinical setting. The candidate asks the SC questions and the SC answers based on the information provided in the script.
- Physical roles can be either non-invasive or invasive. All SCs will be trained on what type of physical assessments may occur with the candidate. Most of these roles require the SCs to wear a hospital gown.
- High Affect roles deal with sensitive material. SCs may be required to cry or simulate behaviours associated with depression or other mental health diagnoses.
- Conversational roles are played in the context of a normal conversation between an SC and the candidate, where the candidate is required to ask questions and collect information from the SC.
- Conversational role under emotional circumstances requires the SC to display emotions such as sadness, anger, exasperation or frustration.
Invitation to work
SCs are invited to work by email approximately six weeks prior to the assessment. The email identifies the specifics of the scenario such as:
SCs participating in high-stakes clinical assessments at Touchstone Institute commit to the following process:
- Dates of the training, dry run and assessment
- Type of role
- Role requirements
- Training: Three weeks before an assessment, we host a 90-minute training session. SCs receive their scripts and a trainer standardizes the role with the group.
- Dry Run: Approximately a week before an assessment, SCs complete a 60- to 90-minute dry run of the exam with a chief examiner. This is an opportunity for all SCs from a station to finish standardizing the affect and station content. During the dry run, the chief examiner plays the role of a variety of candidates, so all of the SCs have an opportunity to watch and experience a wide range of encounters. This varied interaction allows SCs to be better prepared. All SCs must come to the dry run prepared and ready to be off script at this point in order to work the assessment day. Attendance at the dry run is mandatory.
- Assessment: It all comes together on assessment day. SCs have a final quick dry run with the examiner assigned to the station. Once the dry run sheet is signed off, room doors are closed to indicate the assessment is ready to run. Depending on the scope of the assessment, start times are as early as 7:30 am.
We value the professionalism and dedication of our SCs and work to foster strong and lasting relationships with them. Here’s what they have to say about working with us:
“Touchstone Institute is a great company that I've enjoyed working with. All the employees have been fun, enthusiastic people who are thorough in their work and make the process smooth and enjoyable”
“Touchstone Institute is one of the nicest places I have worked outside of my work as an actor. Thank you for treating us so well!”