Investigative interviewing of those suspected or accused of wrongdoing – The PEACE model

Investigative interviewing of those suspected or accused of wrongdoing - The PEACE model

Ethica Solutions’ Investigative Interviewing of Those Suspected or Accused of Wrongdoing course provides face-to-face interactive guidance and advice to professionals.  This course is delivered by investigation professionals and is designed for Human Resources professionals, line managers, supervisors, heads of department, monitoring officers, company secretaries, safeguarding leads, employee representatives and legal practitioners in organisations who may have responsibility for disciplinary management or conducting, reporting upon and reviewing investigations.

This interactive course provides a firm foundation for professionals charged with conducting and reporting on such investigations. It is designed to develop the participants’ skills and abilities in applying those options whilst conducting ethical investigative interviews. It involves a high level of skills transfer and is delivered by experts in the field of investigation at all levels including the most complex and serious cases.

More frequently, organisations are finding that there is a need to conduct effective investigations into smatters arising in the workplace. Disciplinary situations may concern breaches in conduct or wilful behaviour and grievances, or allegations of wrongdoing can be raised by employees or colleagues.

To serve the needs of your organisation and to ensure that those subject to investigation are treated fairly and ethically, it is essential that investigations are conducted impartially and effectively, applying methodologies that are recognised best-practice. The PEACE model of investigative interviewing is a tried and tested framework around which to build a whole host of tactics and strategies.

Entering an interview with an open mind is crucial to a principled and just investigation and this course is suitable for all professionals who deal with allegations of misconduct or criminal behaviour. From internal discipline enquiries through to serious crime investigations, our trainers have carried out interviews in a wide and challenging range of settings. This course is designed to fit exactly within your organisation’s needs. It will not only comply with all relevant legislation (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Codes of Practice, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, etc.) but will also be adapted to include your organisations’ policies and procedures – making it a truly bespoke learning event for you and/or your staff

The full course which includes Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) requirements along with other criminal justice system elements, is delivered across five days and is designed to take the attendees from little or no knowledge to a level of operational competence by the end of the week. Alternative options exist whereby shorter, more intense or more focused tuition can be given as a refresher module to those already executing investigative interviews or to organisations who conduct internal inquiries only (and thus do not need the PACE aspects). Typically, these options are delivered across two to five days depending on your identified needs.

You will see that many of the learning descriptors below make mention that the participants will be able to “Demonstrate the ability to …” This is because this is an intensely practical course where the attendees will not only be given the theoretical knowledge of what is being asked of them but they will also spend a significant amount of the course applying it and experiencing interview scenarios either first hand or vicariously.


Course content:

By the end of this module the attending participants will be able to, amongst other learning outcomes:

  • By the end of this module the attending participants will be able to, amongst other learning outcomes:
  • Define each element of the PEACE framework of investigative interviewing
  • Explain the differences between the conversation management and the free-recall models of interviewing
  • Explain the possible advantages and potential disadvantages of ‘open’, ‘closed’, and ‘leading’ questions
  • Identify when an intended interviewee might be considered as vulnerable
  • Apply suitable safeguards when interviewing a vulnerable suspect
  • Plan an interview
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the role of lead interviewer and conduct interviews against both of those models
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the role of second-interviewer and take notes, summarise and interject ethically and appropriately during a live-time interview
  • Demonstrate the ability to explain the Section 34 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Caution to a number of different character types
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct an interview where the interviewee is declining or refusing to answer*
  • Demonstrate the ability to make defensible decisions
  • State when it is appropriate to use the “Special Warnings” demanded by sections 36 and 37 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  • Demonstrate the ability to disclose information both prior to an interview commencing and dynamically during a live-time interview
  • Explain the various options that exist when planning the challenge phase of an interview
  • Demonstrate the ability to deliver an ethical ‘challenge’

Module duration and delivery methodology

The full course – which includes Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) requirements along with other criminal justice system elements – is delivered across five days and is designed to take the attendees from little or no knowledge to a level of operational competence by the end of the week. Alternative options exist whereby shorter, more intense or more focused tuition can be given as a refresher module to those already executing investigative interviews or to organisations who conduct internal inquiries only (and thus do not need the PACE aspects). Typically these options are delivered across two to four days depending on your identified needs.

You will see that many of the learning descriptors above make mention that the participants will be able to “Demonstrate the ability to …” This is because this is an intensely practical course where the attendees will not only be given the theoretical knowledge of what is being asked of them but they will also spend a significant amount of the course applying it and experiencing interview scenarios either first hand or vicariously.

With your assistance we will build the interview exercises around your delegates’ day-job and in order to make the experience as ‘real’ as possible we will use professional actors as the interviewees where necessary. They come with a vast amount of, UK wide (and international) experience in ‘playing’ characters from diverse settings such as petty thieves and people accused of minor assaults through to murderers, sex offenders and people traffickers – and everything in between.


Who should attend?

If you have staff who perform any form of investigative role then this course is a must. Do you or your team conduct internal discipline enquiries in any setting? Consider care homes, play groups, schools etc. right the way through to formal law-enforcement and rule-of-law agencies and departments such as Trading Standards, the Health and Safety Executive and Environmental Health investigators as just a few more examples. Human Resources Department staff and private sector investigative personnel making enquiries into internal fraud or stock-loss would all benefit from this training. The list of potential attendees who this course is aimed at is really quite long!


Contact us for more information about our Investigation Courses