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 training has improved 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.  The investigators have used their knowledge and skills to support others involved in the investigation process with a knock on effect of improving performance throughout the process.

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Senior ManagerThe Independent Police Complaints Commission

The investigation training was interesting and showed a different side of the investigation process, Tim has an informal style and is very knowledgeable.

Investigation Training Delegate, Design Authority - Process controlBAE Systems

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

It was great to have such an experienced investigaton skills trainer, with deeper insight into people’s motivations and responses, and how to skilfully navigate these in order to elicit the information necessary to come to a reasoned judgment. We picked up lots of great tips about how to ensure an investigation’s terms of reference are really clear, and how to stay on track and not become diverted by other agendas.

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Senior ManagerThe Equality Academy

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

This investigation training has made me re-evaluate how I would do an investigation, and change my approach to improve my skills. The role play was hugely beneficial, the trainer was very inclusive, friendly, clear and concise.  I enjoyed every aspect of the training.

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Senior ManagerHSE Ireland

This was a difficult case with sensitive Harassment and Bullying issues, many witnesses and a strict time constraint.  CMP were fantastic in ensuring that the investigator worked outside their SLA to complete the report.  The investigator was thorough, provided valuable insight and worked incredibly hard to ensure a full robust report earlier than expected.  A BIG thank you to them!

Independent Investigation Commissioner, HR Managera Private Sector FTSE 200 Company

This course gave me really good skills that will enable me to perform my day to day role with a new attitude to dealing with conflict.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerHM Prison Service

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

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