Written by: Neil Fletcher

The Need for Competently Trained Investigators by Neil Fletcher

7 Jul 2021

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About the author:

Neil Fletcher
Investigator at the TCM group
If you would like to discuss Neil's post in more detail, please contact Neil at [email protected]


Neil Fletcher joined the TCM investigations team after gaining 25 years of experience conducting investigations across a wide range of issues for global companies. At our recent investigation and audit services conference, we were privileged to hear his thoughts on the need for adequate training provision amongst those involved in the process.

Neil reiterated the underlying theme running through the conference: adequate training is paramount to achieving the best outcomes. Investigators must be competent in order to deliver fair and thorough investigations. As such, Neil compartmentalises competency into six core abilities: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating. But beyond learning, we need investigators to action these ideas.

The Essential Skills for Investigators

Neil mapped out the skillset that is intrinsic to being an effective investigator:

  1. Demonstrating an ability to examine, analyse and examine an assessment.
  2. Taking immediate action to preserve life and ensure safety.
  3. Taking timely action to preserve data and documentation.
  4. Demonstrating an in-depth understanding of codes of conduct.
  5. Demonstrating an ability to explain and apply concepts of legal privilege, data privacy, and admission of evidence.
  6. Reviewing and evaluating data and documentation.
  7. Applying registered analytical techniques to data.

“Investigations are becoming more and more complex, and therefore the people undertaking these investigations need to be more and more competent. The way to do that is through clear training and continuous accreditation.”


So, we now have the skills, but why does an organisation need competently trained investigators?

The answer to this is threefold.

  1. By gathering facts, we produce better quality reports and therefore promote less risk to the organisation.
  2. Secondly, we build employee trust by actioning complaints and grievances with efficiency and meticulousness, in turn attracting more talent which will continue to boost company growth and success.
  3. Ensuring competency, finally, raises an organisation’s external reputation to clients and competitors, placing an emphasis on trust and connection.

During his presentation, Neil recalled the seriousness of complaints in his career, from electricity being cut off and cars being driven off the road to physical assault and kidnappings. These real lived experiences highlight the absolute priority of competency in an investigation.

Practical Investigation Skills

For organisations seeking to ensure the highest levels of competency among their staff members responsible for conducting investigations, our flagship Practical Investigation Skills course delivers the essential skills. Delivered across 2 days, the programme assists delegates in developing a clear terms of reference, interviewing the parties, gathering evidence, and preparing the final report. Find out more/ book your place.

A Chance to Catch Up

Missed our investigations conference, but looking to catch up? Great news- we recorded the session, which can be viewed below (or here):

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