Investigator Qualification Training Scheme

Course format
Course length

CHS Alliance, in partnership with Humentum and with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are working to strengthen the global capacity for conducting survivor-centred sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) investigations. Our particular focus is on training more women and staff based in low- and low-middle income countries to become qualified investigators.

Accountability for SEAH victims/survivors

Robust and high-quality victim/survivor-centred investigations into allegations of misconduct are critical to tackle SEAH in the humanitarian and development sector. They help to hold perpetrators accountable, provide justice to victims/survivors and act as a deterrent. The victim/survivor-centred approach ensures that a victim/survivor’s wishes, safety and well-being remain a priority in all matters and procedures.

We know that the majority of victims and survivors of SEAH are women but, to date, there has been a lack of female representation among investigators. In addition, staff from organisations with limited resources have often found it hard to access investigations training or to find external investigators locally.

Strengthening global investigations

CHS Alliance is working to address the gaps in access and representation that have been identified across the sector with the Investigator Qualification Training Scheme (IQTS) as a corner stone. The Scheme will support SEAH investigations by providing structured, high-quality training, based on CHS Alliance’s SEAH Investigation Guide.

The IQTS offers accessible, affordable and, in certain cases, free training, particularly supporting women and staff from national NGOs in low- and low-middle income countries. By opening up opportunities to qualify investigators globally, we will see more organisations with the internal capacity to undertake investigations that are appropriate to them.


CHS Alliance developed the IQTS with partner, Humentum, supported by funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Since its roll-out in 2022, the Scheme experienced unprecedented demand, demonstrating the importance of having access to dedicated SEAH investigations training for the aid sector. This led us to optimise the way that we offer the Scheme and to make it more globally accessible. Thanks to the new support from USAID, CHS Alliance and Humentum have re-launched IQTS training to meet demand where it’s needed.

Who the course is for?

The Scheme is primarily designed for humanitarian and development staff, safeguarding practitioners, and investigators whose role is to investigate allegations of SEAH by aid workers against crisis-affected people or staff.

Scheme structure

IQTS uses a tiered approach to training that aims to build and enhance investigation competencies progressively, and which is based on professionally developed standards of investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.

The scheme supports career progression through ongoing training and support in four tiers:

  • Foundation: (Tier 1) a free, short, eLearning course about SEAH investigations, the purpose of investigations, the different roles and responsibilities, the phases of SEAH investigations, and investigation principles.
  • Theory: (Tier 2) a 5-week online course, undertaken as a self-directed course, but with expert facilitated sessions, followed by a multiple-choice exam on completion of the course. The course equips participants with the theoretical knowledge and skills required by SEAH investigators.
  • Practice: (Tier 3) an intensive 4-week course, with 2 live (120 minute) sessions per week, or an intensive 4-day practical course if in-person. Participants engage in a simulated investigation case study and are assessed individually on their new competencies and skills. We recommend that candidates complete Tier 3 before practicing actual investigations.
  • Qualification Maintenance: (Tier 4) a continued professional development option for Tier 3 qualified investigators who wish to maintain their qualification, through demonstrating continued learning and practice.

Applicants with previous training and experience in SEAH Investigations will be able to take the Tier 2 exam and move directly to the Tier 3 course. This provision has been implemented to supersede the burdensome requirement to submit evidence of prior learning and experience. The pricing for the Tier 2 exam will follow the same discount breakdowns as for the courses. Please contact Humentum to find out how to access this option.

  • Foundation (Tier 1) a certificate of completion can be downloaded on completion.
  • Theory (Tier 2), a certificate of theory is obtained by passing the external online examination.
  • Practice (Tier 3), qualification is obtained by undergoing an individual external assessment at the end of the course. Tier 3 qualification will be valid for three years.
  • Qualification Maintenance (Tier 4), will require the collection of Continual Professional Development (CPD) points through investigation practice and continued learning and engagement, over a three-year cycle. This process will be put in place from 2024.
Support beyond training

Individual training is not the end point. The IQTS goes much further and will include additional ways to accompany and support people and organisations on their SEAH investigation journey after the training.

CHS Alliance will gradually put in place the resources and expertise to fill the gaps for organisations who do not have access to internal or local SEAH investigators – due to funding restrictions, or the lack of internally trained staff.

This additional support will take the form of mentoring services and access to an investigations roster. CHS Alliance will also build up a professional community of practice (CoP) to support the Scheme’s aims of promoting best practice and learning on SEAH investigations in the aid sector.

More details on these additional support services will be shared in 2024.

Access the courses & resources

The IQTS-related investigation resources (guide and toolkit)(available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Urdu and Bengali:

Download the Investigators’ Toolkit

Tier 1 : the online foundation course. This is freely accessible in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. To access, please visit Disaster Ready, where you need to create an account (in the relevant language) and search for the course Foundations of SEAH Investigations.

Visit the Disaster Ready platform

Tier 2 : an online theory course. All registration options, information on course dates and prices, can be found with our partner, Humentum.

Visit the Humentum training platform

Tier 3 : an online practical course. Candidates must have successfully passed Tier 2. Please note that this course consists of four intensive study weeks followed by an individual assessment. Mandatory attendance is required in two 90-minute webinars each week. Registration details and information on course dates and times are available from our partner, Humentum. Read about participants’ experience of the pilot Tier 3 course in Nairobi.

Humentum’s Tier 3 registration platform

Course overview and pricing

Tier Methodology Dates Cost 
1. Foundation Short, self-directed online module Available on Disaster Ready platform Free
2. Theory Blended online learning programme (self-directed & 3 virtual group sessions), plus external examination Dates are available via the registration link 550 USD full price (discounts are available)
3. Practice Intensive 4 week online course (with 2 virtual sessions/week), plus an individual external assessment Dates are available via the

registration link

850 USD full price (discounts will be available)

4. Qualification Maintenance Continual Professional Development (CPD): demonstration of continued investigation practice & learning Procedure to be confirmed 2024 TBC

Pricing for both Tier 2 and Tier 3 is shown at full price. A pricing discount of 10 % is automatically available to CHS Alliance and Humentum members. Further discounts will take in account operational location and country level of income. Nationally operated NGOs, based in low or lower middle-income countries will also be offered substantial discounts or free access. All prices will be confirmed via the registration process.

Funded by USAID  I  Partnered with Humentum