SEA Investigations Workshop

Course format
Course length
4 days


This four-day workshop demonstrates how to conduct fair, thorough and confidential investigations into complaints of staff misconduct, with a particular focus on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations.

Who should attend?

Mid- to senior-level staff who are, or may be, designated to investigate allegations of staff misconduct within their organisation.

Course content

The course covers the following topics:

  • What is abuse?
  • Investigation planning
  • Conducting investigations, including interviewing
  • Documentary and other evidence, and site visits
  • Investigation report and management implication report writing
  • Investigation closure
  • Management of investigations

The third day of the course is a full-day simulation exercise of the interviewing stage of an investigation, using a detailed case study. Actors represent the complainant, subject of complaint and witnesses.

Pre-workshop assignments and background reading

The investigations workshop has three mandatory pre-workshop assignments, introducing the legal framework, definitions of exploitation and abuse, complaints handling and the Guidelines for Investigations. The second pre-workshop assignment requires the participants to research and reflect on exploitation and abuse in the context of the country in which they work. A significant amount of background reading is required in order to prepare for the course and complete the pre-workshop assignments.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will have an increased understanding of the following:

  • The principles underpinning investigations;
  • The Guidelines for Investigations;

Furthermore, participants will have developed basic skills in:

  • Planning and conducting investigations;
  • Reviewing documentary and other evidence, and conducting site visits
  • Interviewing complainants, subjects of complaint and witnesses;
  • Reporting findings and making recommendations.
  • Closing an investigation
  • Managing an investigation

Course fees


Swiss Francs (CHF) Full members Associate & non-members
Open workshop (per participant)
Standard rate 1200 1600
Small agency rate** 600 800
Sole-agency workshop (for a maximum of 20 participants)
Rate 20000 28000


The open workshop course fee includes facilitation, course materials, lunch and refreshments during the days of the course, and a course completion certificate. The course fee does not include the cost of overnight accommodation or travel to and from the training venue.

The sole-agency workshop course fee includes facilitation, including travel and accomodation of the facilitation team, small adjustement of the workshop to the requesting organisation’s context, course material and certificate of completion. It does not include venue, lunch and refreshments which must be provided separately by the requesting agency.

*A small agency is one with an annual expenditure of less than 5 million Swiss francs.

Programme guide

Day 1:  What is abuse? Principles of investigations; Investigation skills; Stages of an investigation; Gathering and analysing information; Using explicit language.

Day 2: Models of interviewing; Interviewing witnesses; Interviewing subjects of complaint; Investigation planning and preparation; Planning and preparation for interview simulation exercise.

Day 3: Full day’s simulation exercise of the interview stage of an investigation (actors represent the complainant, subject of complaint and witnesses).

Day 4:  Review of investigation and interview plans; Writing investigation reports and management implication reports; Closure of the investigation; Management of investigations; Reflection.

Please note: The simulation included in this programme may require you to work in the evening of Day 2.