Advanced Skills in Investigation and Enforcement

This modular based legal training programme is tailored to the type of investigation an organisation  is  likely to be involved in. Each module is intense, highly practical and interactive where the delegates ‘learn by doing’.

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Advanced Skills in Investigation and Enforcement


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The investigation training provides a structured development  path  for all investigators, giving them the necessary competencies to carry out their work effectively. This 6 module programme can be taken as stand alone units or as part of an entire programme. The duration of each module can be tailored to client’s needs.

Delivered by experienced lawyers and trained trainers, this practical legal training programme is highly relevant for both new and experienced investigators. Delegates will learn how to set up and run an investigation from start to finish. Attendees will learn about their powers, gain an understanding of governing legislation, collect evidence, document findings and present evidence in court.

Key Learning Points

  • Learn how to set up an investigation
  • Gain a practical working knowledge of relevant legislation
  • Clear understanding of powers and offences
  • Best practice in evidence gathering
  • Develop the skills to conduct best practice investigative interviews
  • Improve standards of note taking, statement and report writing
  • Learn how to conduct internet investigations lawfully and safely
  • Understand the courtroom process and how to present evidence confidently
  • Defend evidence under difficult cross examination

Further details about the course modules are outlined below.

Module 1: Law, Evidence, Procedure and Best Practice (1 day course)

This module equips delegates with the skills needed to  set  up a successful  investigation.  Delegates will learn about governing legislation and how to gather evidence to best  practice standards so that it is relevant, admissible and credible.

On completion of this module, delegates will:

  • Have an appreciation of their governing legislation, particularly their powers
  • Understand offences and how to identify proofs
  • Understand the need for consistency of approach in investigative procedure
  • Understand the different types of evidence –oral, documentary and real
  • Understand hearsay and circumstantial evidence
  • Know how to use photographs, maps, notebooks, recorded evidence and samples as evidence
  • Know how to distinguish between facts, inferences and opinions
  • Know how to follow best practice in evidence gathering procedure
  • Know  how  to  manage  exhibits  and  create  an exhibit log
  • Understand the rules of evidence and admissibility of evidence
  • Have an understanding of our legal system, court system and prosecution procedure, both summary and indictable

Module 2: Investigative Interviewing (1-2 days)

This module will provide delegates with the key skills to interview witnesses, obtain professional witness statements and interview suspects to best practice standards.

On completion of this module, delegates will:

  • Know how to plan and prepare different types of interviews : witness and suspect
  • Understand the purpose of an interview and when to interview
  • Understand Human Rights and how to ensure an individual’s rights are protected in the investigative process
  • Learn how to phrase questions in order to exhibit fairness, whilst ensuring that information is obtained
  • Learn how to properly structure an interview
  • Learn how to use different questioning techniques
  • Learn how to deal effectively with evidence in an interview
  • Understand the “caution” and how and when to administer it
  • Be able to structure an investigative interview that will stand up to scrutiny if challenged
  • Learn how to take a memorandum of interview or a statement under caution
  • Experience practical role-play and put the skills learned into practice

Module 3: Excellence in written evidence (1 day course)

Written evidence is a vital part of any investigation. In many cases, having top quality written evidence can prevent a case going to court.

Delegates will learn how to improve the content, structure and style of their statements and reports as well as adopting a best practice approach to note taking.

On completion of this module, delegates will:

  • Understand the importance of an investigation log and how to use it
  • Understand the importance of contemporaneous notes and how to make them
  • Learn how to an Officer’s notebook
  • Learn how to write a statement
  • Learn how to structure and take an accurate statement from a witness
  • Understand layout and formalities
  • Learn how to write different types of reports
  • Be able to insulate written evidence against cross examination
  • Develop a consistent and best practice approach to reports
  • Learn how to use exhibits/appendices/photos/plans/maps
  • Develop an objective and critical eye in relation to written evidence

Module 4: The effective and lawful use of the internet in investigations (1-2 days)

The internet is an increasingly important tool in a wide range of investigations. When used effectively it enables organisations and investigators to save both a considerable amount of time and money. However, failure to research properly, monitor changes, capture data and follow procedures or legislation could result in any evidence obtained being rendered inadmissible.

This course provides investigators with the core skills to use the internet as an investigative tool effectively, enabling  them  to  quickly  source  information and gather evidence lawfully to further their investigations.

On completion of this module delegates will:

  • Learn how to plan a successful internet investigation
  • Learn investigative strategies
  • Gain an understanding the Internet, Web, social networks and web terminology
  • Learn advanced web searching techniques, strategies and tools
  • Learn how to conduct Internet investigations lawfully and safely
  • Learn how to record intelligence
  • Understand the transition between intelligence and evidence
  • Understand compliance with legislation and procedures
  • Learn how to present internet based evidence

Module 5: Prosecution and file preparation

This module is specifically for staff working in the enforcement area who have to prepare prosecution files for solicitors and the DPP’s Office.
This legal training will ensure that officers appreciate exactly what is required of them and what is necessary to include in the file from start to finish. This allows their legal team, State Solicitor and/or DPP to fully appreciate the nature of the case and issue directions on it.

On completion of this module delegates will:

  • Know how to analyse a case and ensure all aspects have been covered
  • Know how to examine evidence in light of an offence: weight, admissibility, etc.
  • Be able to provide robust recommendations, fully supported by the evidence
  • Know what format the file should take
  • Understand what should be included and excluded
  • Know how to prepare a report
  • Have a clear understanding of how much information to include
  • Understand how difficulties/weaknesses in the investigation are dealt with
  • Understand the procedure if a number of agencies are involved in the investigation

Module 6: Courtroom skills, giving evidence (1-2 day course)

Professionals may find themselves in the witness box giving evidence on behalf of their organisation. Often professional witnesses feel that they and their organisation are on trial. Doubt will be cast on the witness’s experience, notes, method of investigation and the procedures followed by them and their organisation.

This courtroom skills training will provide delegates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to present evidence effectively. Delegates will learn about courtroom etiquette, procedures for giving evidence and experience realistic cross examination role-play on a case study related to their area of work.

On completion of this module, delegates will:

  • Learn about the procedures and process of giving evidence in different arenas
  • Understand the process of giving evidence and how best to prepare
  • Understand the roles of the various people in court
  • Learn how to take the oath or the affirmation with confidence
  • Learn how to prepare for giving evidence
  • Understand the difference between examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination
  • Recognise the techniques used by lawyers in cross-examination
  • Analyse how to handle cross-examination, in particular getting the across the whole truth
  • Experience cross-examination in the witness box and receive constructive feedback based on assessment criteria, content, structure and presentation
  • Have the option of including a video technician to record the cross-examination role-play with detailed on-screen feedback

Testimonials:

"The training exceeded my expectations. First time I have participated in training by Zoom! The content was spot on and the trainer was excellent". Sarah, Department of Social Protection