The ‘appropriate adult’ is intended to safeguard the interests of the young suspect in the police interview. This article discusses the criticisms of social workers' and parents' performance of the role and then considers the findings from a survey that explores volunteers' performance. The findings suggest that, when the volunteers surveyed contributed in the interview, they fulfilled the role as intended. This article also examines the implications of employing the survey method as a means of data collection in this field. The author concludes that further research is required in order for the survey findings to be considered conclusive and generalisable and suggests two further methods.