The purpose of an investigative report. Writing an investigative report is one of the most difficult tasks an investigator undertakes. But, because it’s an important showcase of the investigation, this critical investigation step cannot be skipped. An investigative report is a reflection of the investigation and should be clear, comprehensive, and accurate, and polished.
The Purpose Of An Investigative Report
An investigative report has many purposes. It’s a document that sparks some sort of action based on the official findings it presents. This could be a termination of employment, corrective action, implementation of training, counseling, or some other action is taken based on the findings. The investigation report is also a record of the steps of the investigation. It can be used to prove that investigation was timely, complete, and fair.
The information contained in the investigation report may be cited in any legal action, so it’s important that the report is detailed and accurate but does not include unnecessary detail that can get the company into trouble. The process of writing the investigation report can sometimes clarify thinking and can even uncover additional questions that provide new insight into a case. Finally, the investigation report provides valuable data that can be used to implement control and preventive measures in the company.
Basic Principles Of Report Writing
Decision-makers and the general public are inundated with reports and data. It is critical to present a concise and compelling report.
Here are some pointers to help you get there:
- Consider your options carefully, including writing in a way that will appeal to your intended audience.
- Before you begin writing the report, create a framework.
- As you go, write. As the investigation progresses, add content to the framework.
- Save the analysis and recommendations for last.
Arranging Written Reports
Whether or not the investigation will be taken to court, all investigative reports should be structured to communicate relevant and factual information. At the very least, the authors should ensure that the following objectives are consistently applied to every type of report that is presented:
- All event and incident details are accurately described in the report.
- Relevant decision-makers will find the content to be clear, concise, and understandable.
- In a court of law, the content is deemed admissible and credible.
- Content should not include opinions or information that could be misconstrued.
- The report contains enough information to establish the factual relevance of the conclusions.
- The report is completed and delivered on time.
The goal of verbal reports, whether formal or informal, is to discuss the facts of the investigation. Alternatively, when using a written report, the authors should ensure that the layout and presentation of the facts are consistent. In addition to ensuring that the aforementioned objectives are met, a standardized template that establishes a repeatable standard for how facts and information will be presented should be used.
The size and scope of an investigative report can vary depending on the type of allegation or the complexity of the case. Less serious complaints of harassment that will result in basic disciplinary actions by an HR department usually require fewer elements than a larger, multi-faceted insurance fraud case that will end up in court.