Delivering Professional Workplace Investigations

Delivering Professional Workplace Investigations

Covid-19 has completely re-shaped how many employers must now carry out workplace investigations, with many investigative interviews being carried out remotely via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. 

This approach, while ensuring that the investigation can continue, does raise several challenges. This workshop addresses those concerns, as well as providing clear guidance on best practice in conducting any workplace investigations.  

Attendees will feel more confident in fulfilling their role in conducting workplace investigations following this workshop.

Workshop participants will follow an investigation through all its stages, from the moment a dispute arises to production of the final investigative report.

After attending this course you will:

  • Understand how to effectively manage/coordinate on-line workplace investigations which are confidential, thorough and fair to all
  • Understand the key issues in relation to overt and covert recordings
  • Have key insights into conducting a well-structured online investigation interview, including those with Trade Union representation
  • Understand the use of effective questioning techniques to appropriately challenge the interviewee
  • Understand how to collect and evaluate evidence
  • Know how to produce a robust written report

Who should attend?

This workshop is aimed at HR professionals and other managers who may be required to investigate a workplace complaint or disciplinary issue but who have not either carried out a workplace investigation, at least for a while, and who wish to know more about undertaking workplace investigations online and how those investigations might differ from in-person investigations.

When and Where?

This event will take place online over 2 days; 28 and 29 September 2022 between 9.15am to 1.00pm on both days.


Standard Rate: £295
An additional £20 discount is availble when you pay with your card when booking online.


Day One: 28 September


Welcome & Introduction: Meet the team and find out how to maximise return on investment from this training event.


Understanding the Case Study: Our expert investigator and trainer, Christine Swail, Director, People Management Solutions, sets out the issue under investigation, key milestones to watch out for, essential documents you will need, and traps to be wary of, that just might catch you out.


Remote Investigations – Getting it Right

  • Why is there a need for an investigation?
  • What are you investigating / importance of clear terms of reference?
  • Exercise 1 Who should investigate, impartiality, independent investigator?
  • Where should the investigation be conducted considering the individual circumstances of the case? Can it be done remotely? Is it always reasonable to conduct investigations remotely?
  • When – the importance of unreasonable delay. Might online technology lengthen or shorten the process? Why?
  • Exercise 2 – What are the potential pitfalls when conducting a remote investigation? What constitutes an effective investigation?

Other factors to consider:

  • Investigation plan and preparing for on-line interviews
  • Confidentiality and why it is even more important when conducting investigations remotely
  • Handling delays
  • Right to be accompanied and the considerations when conducting investigations remotely.


Break & Networking


Key Prep: Technology, Note-taking, Recording

  • Deciding which technology to use
  • Advantages and disadvantages of recording on-line meetings
  • Be prepared for the unexpected
  • Note-taking – investigator’s notes and witness statements
  • How do these factors differ in an online investigation?
  • What paperwork do you need in place?
  • Is the employee entitled to a copy of the recording?
  • Considering requirements of Data Protection and GDPR.

Exercise 3 – How would you handle it?

It’s time to get all your preparation and paperwork in place. How would you handle this complaint? Are you sure you have everything you need?  


Exercise 4: Building the Investigator’s Confidence

Having the ability to increase confidence and manage nerves in the moment can support behavioural choices that maintain credibility, enhance clarity of thinking and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

In this 30-minute workshop, we'll share with you some neat and straightforward exercises used by actors to maintain calm in nail biting, high stake situations. These easy-to-apply techniques will focus on how to physically reset oneself to find a sense of calm, tap into an emotional reservoir of confidence and regulate your inner dialogue so that you not only appear in control but also feel it in front of your audience.


Review and Getting Ready for Day 2



Day Two: 29 September


Welcome Back – Get yourself a cup of something and join Legal Island and your host, Christine Swail, for day 2 of your workshop on workplace investigations.


Investigative Interviewing

  • Review of effective questioning techniques
  • Challenging the interviewee, establishing the boundaries
  • Following checklists
  • Listening skills
  • Dealing with emotion
  • Handling unexpected events

Q. How might an online investigation change how you manage these issues?

Q. What if there is an investigation by law enforcement or an official body?

NOTE: Delegates will be given a chance to practice some techniques in pairs and small groups.


Break and Networking


Evaluating Evidence & Report Writing

  • Analysing the data
  • Evaluating the evidence

Exercise 5Evaluating and weighing up the evidence

  • Evidence and Contamination
  • Written Report
    • Writing the analysis
    • Conclusions and Findings
    • Report structure and style

Other useful resources:

  • Workplace investigation checklist
  • Template documents


Review and Evaluation




"Good range of information provided and knowledge from presenters."
Niamh Hamill, HR Executive, Inspire Wellbeing

"It was very informative. Very useful regarding the pitfalls of virtual processes."
Rosie McHugh, Personnel Officer, Apex Housing

"The amount of content, Christine was very knowledgeable and easy to listen to.".
Michelle Digney, HR Officer, Southern GP Federation Support Unit

"The course delivery was excellent in providing clarity around all aspects of carrying out workplace investigations. The training was supported by pertinent resources which will be a very useful reference in the future."
Anne Broughton, Quality Assurance Officer, Action Mental Health

"Thoroughly enjoyable, learned a lot of relevant information."
Laura White, HR Officer, Dunbia

"Excellent training by excellent facilitator. Well-paced and interesting."
Fiona O'Connell, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Queen's University Belfast

"Excellent delivery and information."
Helen Mills, Corporate HR Business Partner, Education Authority


  • Christine Swail
    Christine Swail Director & Co-Founder
    People Management Solutions

    Christine is Director and Co-Founder of People Management Solutions, an award winning HR Consultancy with offices in Belfast and Dungannon. Christine works with small to medium sized organisations putting best practice HR in place as well as working with larger multi-nationals on specific HR projects and complex workplace disputes.  Christine has worked in HR throughout Ireland for over 25 years with some of the leading and most innovative companies. Key areas of expertise include workplace investigations, mediation, employee relations and HR related training. Christine was recently awarded the CIPD NI HR Consultant of the Year award.

Event details


2 Half Days; 28 & 29 September


28 September 2022


Online - Hopin


Standard Rate: £295
An additional £20 discount is availble when you pay with your card when booking online.