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 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.

*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 programme includes evening sessions on Days 2 & 3.