Conducting workplace investigations using an internal or an external investigator

Training for managers and HR in carrying out grievance and disciplinary investigations will professionalise your internal workplace investigation capability. 

Learning the best way to do a formal investigation at work will mean quicker investigation processes and more robust investigation findings. You should also see an increase in managers’ confidence in conducting workplace investigations.

But if you have too many complaints for HR and management to deal with, or if the complaint is complex, sensitive or about someone senior, then bringing in an independent workplace investigator may be the better choice.

Getting the investigation model right: internal or external investigators?

Use this detailed checklist to explore the pros and cons of training your managers to investigate, versus bringing in an external investigator, and understand which option is right for your organisation.

We chose CMP Resolutions to deliver the ILM Endorsed Professional Workplace Investigator training as it was a unique product that was available. The delegate feedback has been extremely positive. The training has helped to improve the way in which Terms of Reference are set, ensuring that investigations are tightly described and therefore less likely to go off track, ultimately saving both time and money. Also a key element of the course was the skills practice on building rapport under pressure which has greatly improved our investigation practice. We would whole heartedly recommend CMP Resolutions.

ILM Endorsed Professional Workplace Investigator Training Buyer and Delegate, Director of HRIndependent Police Complaints Commission

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was pleased to award the Tender to CMP to provide training for First Response Officers as a contact point for colleagues who feel that they may have been bullied, harassed or discriminated against. Delegates fed back “I loved the training! I have learnt an awful lot. The trainers are very open and interesting – and they know the subject matter very well.  It has been a wonderful experience.”

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Delegate and Project Lead, Policy and Strategic Communications Desk OfficerFCO Diversity Strategy Unit

CMP’s training for Anti-Harassment Supporters enhanced my skills and has enabled me to add value to my organisation’s core activities. CMP were good value for money, I would definitely use CMP again and recommend them to others.

Harassment Advisor Training Delegate, Service ManagerChildren's Society

A great opportunity to fully focus on the neutral assessment model and how it might be effectively applied across the organisation… Engaging, attentive, supportive and encouraging trainer.

Neutral Assessment Training Delegate, HR Business PartnerMersey Care NHS Trust

CMP provided us with focused attention on the seriousness of a complaint and the company’s attitude towards it; the process was handled very well.

Independnet Investigation Commissioner, HR DirectorWightlink Ferries

We use CMP Resolutions to help us handle very complex, highly sensitive mediations and investigations.  We have been impressed by their speed of response, the professionalism of their people, not only their mediators and investigators but also their back office and logistics.  Most importantly the outcomes of their work have enabled us to resolve our issues successfully. Would we use them again? Without question. They are our “goto” solution.

Independent Investigation and Outsourced Mediation Commissioner, Director of Employee RelationsStates of Jersey

We received feedback that the investigator was very good with witnesses, which we felt was essential because it put them at their ease. CMP is very professional, clear on process and delivered within the timescale. There was huge efficiency internally, precisely the reason for outsourcing the investigations.

Independent Investigation Commissioner, HR Managera Local Authority

CMP is a very good company to do business with and I would definitely recommend them.  I was very happy with the service offered, the investigation training and the follow-up support.  Our organisational objectives were clearly met by CMP’s involvement and I believe the training has provided the foundation for success.

Mediation Service Set-up, and Training Commissioner, Acting Head of HR,Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

We are magnificently impressed with the robustness and thoroughness of the investigation provided by CMP Resolutions.

Independent Investigation Commissioner, DirectorFreightliner

I like the respectful way the training was undertaken, listened etc. The trainer made it interesting, whilst being well-considered and thoughtful.

Student Complaints Training Delegate, Academic Quality & Standards ManagerCardiff University

Grievance and disciplinary investigations - our Top Tips

Deciding to outsource an investigation

Increasing numbers of organisations have a call-off contract whereby the external provider carries out the bulk of their investigations.

This paper looks at what drives organisations to make that decision, and what you need to weigh up when considering this option for your own company.

PDF Cover Making the decision to set up a call off contact for investigations