Visitor Services Supervisor
Scottish Parliament

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Frances P

00:00:03 My name is Frances P and I’m a Visitor Services Supervisor at the Scottish Parliament.

00:00:07 That involves running the day to day services that visitor services provide. We get a lot of visitors, members of the public or visitors that come to meet the staff at the parliament and MSPs and we coordinate their visits and part of my job is to manage the staff that do the main tasks.

00:00:26 There’s about ten visitor services officers, and I’m one of three supervisors and then I have a manager above me and a manager of the department so it’s quite a big team.

00:00:37 I started here in March 2007 as a temp through an employment agency, and I worked temporarily for about a year until the post that of visitors services officer became vacant and was advertised externally and so I applied for the job and I was lucky enough to succeed in becoming a permanent employee of the Scottish parliament and then a post, a temporary post as visitor services supervisor came up and again I applied for that, that job and I was successful so, in a space of a few months I’d managed to rise from temporary employee to a permanent contracted supervisor.

00:01:20 I studied Spanish as part of my university degree and I spent a year abroad as part of that degree teaching Spanish in an area called Galicia in Spain and I enjoyed it so much I decided to go back after university and improve my language skills for six months, and I found a job in a shop there.

00:01:38 Always enjoyed languages at school, I did French and German and when I went to university I began French and German as part of my degree with Spanish as a beginners language although I enjoyed Spanish so much that I decided just to make Spanish my main subject and I, I took that on as my main honours degree.

00:01:57 We get a lot of Spanish visitors, particularly as the architect of the Scottish parliament was a Catalan, Spanish architect, and I can use my language skills here in my role, so that maybe played a part in why I got the job.

00:02:11 I always knew that I wanted to travel and I enjoyed languages and I think in my mind I’d hoped to work abroad and perhaps work for an NGO or a humanitarian organisation and once I learnt Spanish it became an interest to go to South America and, and do that. However, (laughs) my career path took a different direction.

00:02:32 It’s still am ambition of mine so I don’t have any regrets because I think it’s still possible, and I think I’m just waiting for a time when I feel confident enough to leave the country and go and do that and a time when I feel like I’ve built up enough skills here so that on my return I would be able to move into a good permanent contract again.

00:02:56 I was quite independently minded and I was determined only to go to university to study subjects that I was really interested in, and hopefully would use in a job in the future. I considered moving straight into employment or studying something more vocational but as I enjoyed languages so much I decided to do that at university.

00:03:17 Temping although it was good for me and has led to this role that I’m currently in was actually a bit of a down point on return from Spain I started temping, big organisation I didn’t enjoy it and I realised that I didn’t want to go away and travel again just to become a temp, I wanted to, get a permanent contract and establish myself first so that if I did decide to travel in the future I would be able to come back and pull in some of the skills in previous work experience I’d had so I think that that was a, that temping was a turning point for me because it made me realise that I really needed to work hard to build up my CV and just find what I enjoyed more before I decided to go off and travel again.

00:04:09 END

Frances P is a Visitor Services Supervisor at the Scottish Parliament. She wants to use her languages to travel more. She finds her Spanish degree useful; “We get a lot of Spanish visitors, particularly as the architect of the Scottish parliament was a Catalan, Spanish architect”. She thinks that is important to build her CV before she sets off on more travels.

More information about Customer service managers and supervisors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

50%  male 
50%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group plan, organise and co-ordinate resources necessary for receiving and dealing with the responses, complaints or further requirements of purchasers and users of a product or service, and supervise customer service occupations.
There are no pre-set entry requirements. Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications and/or relevant experience. Specialist qualifications may be required for work within certain sectors.
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures to deal effectively with customer requirements and complaints;
  • Co-ordinates and controls the work of those within customer services departments;
  • Discusses customer responses with other managers with a view to improving the product or service provided;
  • Plans and co-ordinates the operations of help and advisory services to provide support for customers and users.
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