The 5 Ps of Professional Workplace Investigations

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 11 September 2014 Issues covered:

Ultimately the outcome of a workplace investigation will result in an employee’s grievance being upheld or not; or an employee being disciplined or not by his employer.

Furthermore, the results of the investigation may be examined in an external arena e.g. an Industrial Tribunal. The impact and effect of the investigation, therefore, is great and so the responsibility to get the investigation “right” is also great.  

At our intensive one-day training event, the 5Ps of Professional Workplace Investigations are examined in depth with opportunities to expand skills to deliver these processes and practices. 


All workplace investigations are to be managed under the remit of the relevant policy e.g. whistleblowing, disciplinary, grievance, absence management, often with reference to other related policies e.g. data protection, ICT, staff code of conduct. 


The Investigation Plan is a vital document to direct the investigation and create a framework for practice in terms of data collection and analysis, interview scheduling and people management.


The creation of a set of pro-formas will support the standardisation of all investigation practice in the organisation and will give confidence to managers managing the process.


It is essential to select the right person(s) to manage the investigation in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude.  Clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all personnel involved is essential from the outset – e.g. trade union representatives, accompanying persons, human resource personnel.


Best practice guidance in terms of managing the interviews e.g. using a model for all interviewing; recording and data collection methods; analysing information and report writing are all essential to not only be applied by the investigator but to be provided as a set of protocols for all investigators within the organisation.

This article is correct at 11/09/2014

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