Workplace Investigations (including remote investigations)

Workplace Investigations (including remote investigations)

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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; 23 February and 24 February 2021 between 9.15am to 1.00pm on both days.


Early bird rate: £220 +VAT (deadline Friday 5 February 2021 at 5pm)
Standard rate: £260+VAT


Day One: 23 February


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.

You'll leave the session with a toolkit that will stand you in good stead, whether you are investigating a workplace complaint, running a disciplinary panel, or making a speech in public. Session led by Robert Kirby, Actor and Director at People People.


Review and Getting Ready for Day 2



Day Two: 24 February


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 5: Evaluating 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





"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.

  • Robert Kirkby
    Robert Kirkby Founder
    People People

    Robert trained as an actor at drama school before working in TV, Radio, Film and touring with theatre companies across the UK. Whilst on the open road and doing the same thing night after night, he became unhealthily obsessed by the techniques his cast mates would use whilst on stage to choose their behaviours at will, manage their emotional states in front of thousands of people and decide the impact they want to have on an audience in any given moment.

    This fascination led to him founding training organisation People People. A Prince’s Trust supported business, People People use techniques from the world of acting to support individuals to enhance their impact and interpersonal communication choices in the workplace.

    He creates learning environments that feel fresh, fun and emotionally safe so participants can maximise learning and immediately apply skills back in the workplace.

Early Bird Offer

Save up to £40

Event details


23 and 24 February


23 February 2021




Early bird rate: £220 +VAT (deadline Friday 5 February 2021 at 5pm)
Standard rate: £260 +VAT