Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

CARM (Conversation Analytic Role-play Method)


If you are a trained, published academic conversation analyst working in an applied setting and want to use CARM, we can train you to develop the technical side of the method and the distinctive approach to delivering workshops. To use the CARM logo and to appear on the list of accredited practitioners you should 1) have a PhD (or equivalent) in CA; 2) have published CA research that underpins workshops; 3) attended my training to see how to produce CARM workshops and / or observed a CARM workshop; 4) produced sample slides and have them ‘okayed’ by me; 5) provided information for this webpage and the list of accredited CARM trainers; 6) cite the method when used and 7) keep up to date with changes and updates to the method.

There are specific steps to using the CARM method are taught in workshops. We can either deliver these bespoke for your organisation, or for a group of practitioners in a similar sector.  Please see our workshops page for more details and contact us to find out how to embed CARM good practice.

What can you expect in a CARM workshop?

Using extensive databases of anonymized video and audio recordings of real-time encounters, we use conversation analysis to identify what works and does not work in workplace communication.

Watching and listening to data extracts, participants are able to live through encounters in the moment, without knowing what happens next. They also role-play what they might do next to handle the situation and discuss their decisions and possible outcomes in small groups. This is repeated for a variety of encounters to ensure participants get to see and assess different patterns and trajectories of responses, enabling them to identify (in)effective practice. Workshops are therefore underpinned by conversation analytic research and based on what people actually do and say.

This approach provides a unique opportunity to discuss and evaluate, in forensic detail and slow motion, actual communication as people do their jobs. CARM also provides an evidence base for making decisions about effective practice and communication policy in organizations, as well as to hear different opinions within teams about those practices. Hearing how other people do things often divides the room!

Affiliated CARM academic trainers

Dr Erica Sandlund, at Karlstad University in Sweden, is using CARM within a project called ‘Testing Talk’, focused on second language speaking tests, offering training for teachers.

Professor Anna Lindström, at Uppsala University in Sweden, is using CARM in a project about financial conversations at the Swedish student loans company.

Dr Natacha Niemants, teaching assistant at the Universities of Macerata and Bologna, is using CARM in dialogue interpreter training.

Find out what people say about CARM 

CARM workshops