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.

What I thought was going to be ‘death by PowerPoint’ turned out to be exceptionally engaging, worthwhile and relevant to the issues I’m currently facing.

Investigation Training Delegate, Design Authority - Energetic MaterialsBAE Systems

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

Thanks for such a great course.  Despite having done investigations for around 10 years I really learnt a lot and left with loads of good ideas and knowledge I can put into practice, in fact I’ve already been working on a manager/investigator this morning!

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Senior Managera Public Sector Institute

Relaxed, inclusive, well balanced with respect to information and hands on exercises, and the trainer was not patronising!

Student Complaints Training Delegate, Director, Post Grad StudiesCardiff University

Just to thank you and the trainer for the professional and efficient way in which the on-line training was conducted. This was the first time for me and I really enjoyed it. As learning and development advisor I will recommend this approach to my colleagues in the future. Thanks again, it has really helped in a very practical way and has given me lots to consider

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, L&D AdvisorSouth Norfolk Council

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 developed a serious incident investigation programme that was just right for the needs of the group.  We would recommend CMP to any organisation wanting to develop the skills and professionalism of their investigators. Our training was been a very positive experience, and we are confident it has helped us to speed up and professionalise our approach to investigating serious incidents.   Not only have our investigators gained in confidence and skills, but our investigations are already moving more quickly and our processes have been streamlined following input from the trainers.

ILM The Serious Incident Investigator Training Buyer and Delegate, Patient Feedback ManagerAbertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

The investigation skills training was comprehensive, authoritative and excellently presented.

Investigation Skills Training Delegate, Area Education OfficerSandwell Metropolitian Borough Council

More useful by far than I’d thought. CMP’s coach was very supportive and gave me lots of things to actually do differently. It was good being able to talk so openly to someone who didn’t judge. What has changed is I feel like a proper manager.

Coachee, Managera SME

The conflict management course was thought provoking and applicable to very many situations with very useful theory and practice. The trainer was very engaging, an excellent facilitator, related well to the group, had an excellent personality and made the training interesting and a positive learning experience.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerMersey Care NHS 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