Investigation Training Award helps individual’s complete investigations to a high standard

Understanding the underlying causes of incidents is essential in reducing operational incidents.

The Investigation Training Course is developed in line with the rail industry standard and aimed at anyone who carries out the role of investigation incidents and accidents across the railway industry.  This includes driver managers, conductor managers, station and control managers and DCPs to refresh their own skills.  It is tailored for each individual customer to ensure it follows their internal processes.

Carrying out a thorough investigation to establish the underlying causes of the problem (whether that is at individual, job or organisational level) is essential to understand what is going on to make proper recommendations or robust, fit for purpose individual support plans.  Doing this will lead to less incidents and investigations which results in savings in time and cost.  This also helps to reduce or even prevent damage to the reputation of the organisation.

The course is centred around the Tree of Cause model, understanding different types of errors and violations which teaches how to establish a fair culture, as opposed to a blame culture. The course enables candidates to carry out a verification exercise to identify what was done badly and what could be improved upon, providing experience of carrying out the role of a verifier.

There are two types of training course

  1. Accident and Investigation Training (2-day course) where the candidate can work towards achieving an Accident and Investigation certificate awarded by AssessTech.
  2. Incident and Accident Investigator Award (3 or 4 day course). Candidates attending this course will receive a City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Incident and Accident Investigator Award. Candidates need to submit work in the form of 5 assignments in order to receive their certificate.

The Incident and Accident Investigator Award  provides candidates with an opportunity to engage with a greater variety of learning activities such as interview role play, practical exercise in timeline and acci’map creation.  They will also use an interactive board game which underpins understanding of ’the Cause Tree’ – a model of the procedure in establishing the causes in an adverse event.  Completed investigation reports are uploaded onto the AssessBook platform for grading.

Direct feedback from Course candidates from ScotRail said, “Overall I found the course to be worthwhile.  Being in a development role for over a year, I had yet to undertake any formal training related to adverse events, therefore relied heavily on my mentor/peers for guidance and information when completing or assisting with post incident investigations. I feel now that I have the right tools, training and thought process to enable me to complete investigations to a high standard. Gary must be commended for his attitude, knowledge and delivery as this is a course that I would recommend to anyone in a similar position.

 “The course was clear and concise and relevant to the role that I am in.  It will help me compose a more accurate and realistic report to allow full understanding of the evidence and recommendations.”

Jamie Spooner from Arriva Rail London (ARL) was the first candidate to attend and fully complete the C&G award course via AssessTech. Jamie commented, “Coming from an investigational background, prior to working in the railway, I didn’t expect the course to teach me a lot of new elements, however, I was quickly proved wrong.

“The course helped me understand how and why incidents occur as well as being able to identify their immediate and underlying causes.  It also gave me good insight into how human factors, as well as the failure of non-technical skills, contribute to incidents occurring in the first place.

“My trainer, Gary Howitt, was able to draw on his own experiences within the railway industry to help mentor me through the two investigations I had to complete for the award.  He was able to provide real world experiences and was on hand to offer advice and guidance to help develop my knowledge further, as well as offer support to create the reports to the required standard.

“The course has left me in a far stronger position to confidently investigate incidents within Arriva Rail London.  I am now able offer advice and guidance to my colleagues who haven’t been fortunate enough to attend the course with Assesstech.”

Gary Howitt, L&D Consultant, AssessTech

Gary Howitt commented, “Jamie attended the Incident and Accident Investigator Award course and is the first candidate to fully complete all tasks to a satisfactory standard.  From the outset, Jamie fully immersed himself in the work, developing his knowledge from a good foundation.  His strong work ethic and focus on quality was evident from our interactions and the work he produced.  Driven by a strong desire to produce quality, accurate investigations, he would often call me to discuss his progress and work and used that knowledge to enhance his assessments.

“It was a pleasure to guide Jamie on his journey and I’m sure ARL will benefit from the quality investigations he will conduct throughout his future career.”