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Investigation Skills Training Course - One Day

Learn practical tools that you can use in real-life situations. Investigation Skills Training
  • Hold an investigative interview that gets to the truth
  • Distinguish facts from opinions
  • Distinguish “answers to questions”, from “responses to questions”
  • Distinguish between “admissible” and “inadmissible” statements
  • Ask the right questions in the right way
  • Handle the evasive and difficult person
  • Take accurate written notes, as you go
Learn in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with people who are facing similar situations as you.

I found this course beneficial to know how to successfully conduct an investigation into issues. The tools will enable me to find the correct, factual information. The trainer's presentation was very good, light-hearted and easy to understand. He gave a good insight and tools to assist in investigating.

Customer Reviews

Investigation Skills Training - One Day Course Overview

Day One - Morning

  • Normal interview vs. investigative interview
  • Answers v responses
  • Lying is risky
  • Evasion is more common
  • Factual language
  • Hearsay evidence
  • Best evidence rule
  • General v specific statements
  • Factual language v opinionated
  • 6 steps for gathering information

Day One - Afternoon

  • Sentence analysis
  • Asking the right questions
  • Investigation 2: Suspected person interview
  • Body language
  • Incongruent communications
  • Taking good written notes
  • Investigation interview 2 Suspected person
  • Notes and final action plans

Investigation Skills Training - Day One - AM

Investigation techniques are important skills for investigations officers.

  1. Formal complaints
  2. Possible bullying
  3. Harassment
  4. Disciplinary issues
  5. Grievance issues
  6. Misconduct

There are five major steps your investigators must master

  1. Taking the initial statement of complaint
  2. Taking the independent witness statements
  3. Interviewing the person who is accused of doing something wrong
  4. Recording everything in writing, in a chronological order, ensuring that you omit any inadmissible statements and retain every relevant item of admissible evidence
  5. Preparing a file sufficient that the decision-maker(s) can make a proper, informed decision

Investigative questioning is a specialised form of communication

Investigative questioning is a form of conversation that does not follow the normal social conventions, but must still be done with a high degree of professionalism and respect whilst being effective as a tool to get to the truth.

To conduct a professional, respectful and effective interview, this investigation skills training is designed to help your people make the switch in conversational technique.

“The switch” includes learning how to:

  1. Get to the truth of the matter
  2. Uncover any outright lies - by identifying contradictions and errors in the others account
  3. Uncover evasion. Evasion is the art of NOT telling the whole truth, (i.e. missing important bits out); in order to distort the truth without actually lying
  4. Distinguish error from malice or laziness
  5. Take proper “contemporaneous written notes” so that you can use the information gleaned during the interview

The differences between normal conversation and an investigation interview.

Investigation interview is a special context that requires that you make a conscious shift in your normal conversational method.

Distinguish between answers and responses to your questions

  1. Some people RESPOND to questions but don't answer them
  2. The questioner must notice when his-her question has not been answered

Distinguish between

  1. First hand evidence- admissible
  2. Second hand evidence- hearsay evidence - non admissible

Best Evidence Rule

The best evidence rule is a legal principle that holds an original document is superior evidence than any copy. The rule specifies that a copy cannot be used if the original exists.

The implication is to: Keep safe all your original documents and evidence safe.

Investigation Skills Training - Day One - PM

Major Communication Skill 1: Facts v Opinions

You need to distinguish between two kinds of statement:
Objective facts and Subjective opinions:

  • Objective facts - the evidence provided by the five senses
  • Subjective opinions - personal interpretation of facts
  • Practice exercises and feedback from trainer

Major Communication Skill 2: Specific and Vague

You need to distinguish between two kinds of statement:
Specific and vague.

  • Specific statements denote only one possible interpretation
  • Vague statements denote multiple possible interpretations
  • Practice exercises and feedback from trainer

Your skill as an investigator is to take their vague statements and by questioning, reduce it down to a specific statement

Major communication skill 3: Truth, Error, Lies and Evasion

Identifying four types of response to a question:

  1. Truth – The statement corresponds to the facts and is self-consistent
  2. Error – The statement is NOT TRUE but is believed to be true by the speaker. The speaker is in error
  3. Lie – The statement is NOT TRUE, and the speaker knows that it is not true. It is a lie
  4. Evasion – The statement does not answer the original question. The speaker is not actually lying but is evading the truth by not giving full answers. He-she keeps “ducking the question”

Warning: Evasions are more common than lies. Because lies contradict reality, they are more dangerous to a dishonest speaker. If a person has done something wrong, he-she will be more likely to EVADE the question rather than LIE, because NOT answering a question is safer than lying.

Ways people use to EVADE questions:

  • Forcibly challenge the questioner. (The Donald Trump Technique)
  • Change the subject. (The Tony Blair technique)
  • Give the answer to a different question. (Another Tony Blair technique)
  • Have an emotional outburst, (usually an outburst of anger or tears)

Practice exercises and feedback from trainer.

Probing questions techniques

  1. Key questioning skills
    How to ask probing questions
  2. Getting to the facts, not opinions or guesses
    Separate facts from opinions, interpretations and guesswork
  3. Notice when a person says one thing, then later contradicts the statement
    Contradictions should be noted and investigated
  4. Gaps in the narrative
    Find out what bits they have failed to mention
  5. Take things in chronological order (time order)
    Structure their statements into a time-line
  • Practice exercises and feedback from trainer

Methods of recording interviews

Taking contemporaneous notes.
Taking hand written notes: Accurate, complete and legible.
The art of asking questions and taking notes at the same time.
The rules on recording.

Summary, personal action planning and close

Very well structured. Not too simple, but not overly complicated. The whole day was beneficial. Trainer had a very good manner. He was approachable friendly knowledgeable and fun.

Customer Reviews

In-House Training Course Pricing and Proposal

This course is available from just £1,950 +VAT per day as a bespoke in-house group training course in the UK and worldwide.

It has been designed to provide a similar experience to our open courses, however we can tailor the content to fit your specific needs. In-House Group training costs from just £1,950 +VAT per day (international training price varies). Plus, hotel accommodation for trainer if necessary. (Premier Inn type: not the Hilton!)

This price includes:

  • Quality training delivered by an experienced trainer
  • Full days training
  • Full colour course handbook
  • Preparation work
  • Travel costs and time
  • Written action plan to take away
  • Access to our post course portal
  • Access to our on-line leadership and management decision matrix templates and tools
  • Plus three months FREE telephone coaching to answer any on-going questions

In-House Proposal Document

Download the in-house training proposal document

Contact Us Today

Please call us on +44 (0)20 3856 3037 to discuss your requirements for the in-house training course.

If you want to know more about any other Management Training Courses, or their suitability for you or a colleague, call us on +44 (0)20 3856 3037.

The Course Training Method

The training method follows this general pattern - the training is very interactive and interesting:

  1. The trainer gives a clear explanation of the point in question with specific examples.
  2. Then, the delegates practice by doing an exercise with each other.
  3. The delegates practice by doing an exercise with the trainer.
  4. All points are supported with full written notes to take away.
  5. Delegates are asked to write down an associated action, for each point made.
    (At the end of the day, we have about twenty such actions, from which the delegates choose six which are the most personally meaningful).

Note: we do not believe in placing people in any situation of embarrassment by demanding that they 'perform' in front of the whole group. So you can relax: come on this course and be at ease; ready to learn new skills!

After the course, how can you keep the training-momentum going?

We understand that it is important to keep the momentum of the training going, in the weeks after the course. The ideas and methods that you learnt during the course need to be implemented, not just for the two weeks after the course, but for all time!

In order to make that happen, we will give you continued, on-going support after the training course has finished.

  • PDF download of the training handbook
  • Newsletters containing training blogs and articles, which will provide you with ongoing training and good ideas, whenever you need them.
  • Fun questionnaires that are designed to tease out your strengths and weaknesses and then give you ideas as to how you might improve your performance.
  • Decision matrices that will allow you to make decisions and prioritise tasks into the correct order.
  • Summary diagrams and mind maps from the course.
  • Conflict scripts that give you examples of how the conflict method can be used, in real life situations.
  • Free eBook the effective leader manager.

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Very good pace – learnt a lot about the subject that I do not like doing, but is a part of my job. Trainer presentation, good pace and catered for all levels.

Customer Reviews

Investigation Skills Training Course Summary

There are occasions when managers have to investigate allegations of bad-practice. These allegations may represent a breach of the law, or it may be a breach of company policy. Either way, the manager has to interview the “witnesses” and they have to interview “the accused”.

This places the manager in a difficult position because the manager has neither experience nor knowledge of exactly how to conduct an investigative interview where the person being interviewed may be evasive, angry, lying, or the victim of an injustice.

This course is intended to help.

Your training aims are:
To develop the leader-managers’ ability to investigate possible instances of:

  1. Misconduct
  2. Disciplinary issues
  3. Grievance issues
  4. Poor performance issues

Why the course is needed

You want to give some practical training to members of staff who need to investigate possible instances of poor performance or poor conduct.

In situations where your investigation needs to get at the truth, you want a level of consistency so that all your managers are operating according to proper principles.

You want the training so your people can work to a definite standard; as opposed to everyone doing their “own thing”.

In addition, some of your managers have never had any formal training in the art of asking probing questions, so you need something that will help them in their role as an investigator.