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.

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

CMP created a bespoke a 3 hour workshop on Managing Conversations for us. The session was to get staff to think about conflicts and why they arise and then to provide them with some skills on communicating effectively and build confidence in being assertive in challenging difficult behaviour. Staff were thrilled about the workshop and the skills that they were able to develop in this time.

Difficult Conversation Workshop Commissioner, HR ManagerThe Abbeyfield Society

Very good trainer who ran the investigation training well with good ‘real life’ examples to support the theory.  The process and policy was very useful. I really enjoyed the course.

Investigation Training Delegate, Programmes DirectorBAE Systems

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management training to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. CMP listened to our needs and worked with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional OfficerHampshire Fire and Rescue

Enjoyable course which put meat on the bones for my previous on-the-job learning, with some practical learning points to take away. The trainer was very personable and informative.

Student Complaints Training Delegate, Senior Lecturer Cardiff University

This conflict management training was far and away the best training I have had on the subject and some of the best training that I have had in my 10 years with Sue Ryder. I  recommend that it is seen as a priority for all managers as the course was relevant to anyone who manages people or finds that they need to mediate between people.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, HR ManagerSue Ryder Care

The disciplinary was dealt with in a sure-footed way. Our experience of CMP’s investigation service was very good and efficient, and we had help in resolving difficult issues that internal people couldn’t deal with.

Independent Investigation Commissioner, HR ManagerKirklees Borough Council

An excellent course which was well presented with a good mix of instruction and practice.

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Head of HRBournemouth Borough Council

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

Independent Investigation referrer, HR ManagerPrivate Sector FTS200

A really useful course that will help me in my investigation role as an HR Specialist

Investigation Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerBAE Systems

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