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How to conduct professional investigations in the workplace

This practical and interactive course has been designed to give participants, whether an HR Advisor or an experienced senior manager, the confidence to conduct effective investigations in a fair, professional and timely manner, aligned with policies, procedures and best practice. 

Course Context

Serious complaints and grievance cases of bullying or harassment require a full and formal investigation which must be both prompt and professional. Inappropriate handling of such complaints can lead to lengthy, costly disputes and possible tribunals. Those who are tasked with investigating such cases need to be confident in their role and equipped with both the expertise and the essential soft skills to ensure they can resolve cases fairly and consistently.

The session will explore, in detail, the logistics of the investigation process which includes asking difficult questions and analysis of evidence provided.


  • Duration: 1-day course
  • Capacity: 12 recommended for optimum results
  • Availability: One of our experienced trainers designed and delivers this course in-house, please contact us to check their current availability
  • Customisation: The content can be tailored to meet an organisation’s individual requirements

Who Is It For?

The course is suitable for any member of an HR or management team who has responsibility for interviewing the parties involved in a serious complaint or grievance investigation.

Key Benefits

This interactive course will be adapted to meet the needs of the participants and will include discussion and sharing of best practice. Due to the expertise and experience of the facilitator, queries will be responded to in a sensitive and understanding manner. The training style and method will model the concept of respect and dignity.

During this course, participants will:

  • Draw on the knowledge and expertise of the trainer
  • Focus on productive staff relations and effective service delivery
  • Consider the value of effective interaction skills
  • Include case law, anecdotes, vignettes and anonymous ‘true life’ situations
  • Work within the frame of legislation and organisational policies

Course Content

The course will focus on both the practical aspects of conducting the investigation as well as the ensuing evaluation once the investigation has taken place. The delivery will consist of a combination of formal lecture, small and large group discussions, case studies and pre-course reading.

Conducting Investigations

  • Identifying what an investigation is
  • Time frame for conducting investigations, in line with the policy
  • Who would be involved
  • The role of an investigator
  • Concerns and examples of good practice
  • Stages of the investigation process
  • Consideration of the 5 stages during the investigation process:
    - from receiving the formal grievance to writing the final report
    - this section will focus on the practical aspects of conducting   an investigation

Conducting investigations (continued)

  • Interviews:
    - Practical/challenging questions for all parties concerned
    - Do’s and don’ts of asking questions
  • Setting the scene/gathering evidence
  • Facts vs emotions
  • What to include in the final report


  • Re-visit individual learning objectives
  • Transfer of learning back to the workplace
  • Priorities for action

A testimonial for the How to Conduct Professional Investigations in the Workplace course:


“[The trainer] has a very approachable manner and a wealth of knowledge and experience which she is able to share in a relatable way.”

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Find out more


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.  We are always happy to talk about our courses and help you to work out the best match for your requirements.


"The quality of the training has been fantastic and our employees are really engaging with the trainer and getting something out of it. Also In Equilibrium makes the whole process very easy to arrange."

— Employee Engagement & Wellbeing Officer, Sophie Holland

"We wanted to provide a course that taught useful and practical coping strategies that our members could put into place straight away. In Equilibrium’s experience showed us that they could provide this, and they tailored the course perfectly."

— The Association of Electoral Administrators

"In-Equilibrium recently presented Mental Health Awareness to Managers in all of our area offices. The training was really well received and all of the trainers were praised for their in-depth knowledge and understanding."


— Roger Bullivant Limited

"The training was very well received by staff who now all intend to implement the session’s practical tips and techniques into their existing roles. A large proportion of the staff rated the facilitator and their delivery as excellent and their only recommendation was for a further and longer session!"

— Leeds City College

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