Sunday, May 27, 2018

Getting Investigation Right

Last week our SLT were involved in a PLD session with our local NZSTA legal mastermind around the topic of getting investigations right! 

Investigation - getting it right - conduct issues
This focussed on two main issues 
1- Investigation itself
2- Challenging conversation

The first message was 'Park the back story' - need to put prior knowledge aside - this is for conduct not competency. Unless it has been documented or disciplinary action carried out before.

Principals of Natural Justice
- every case has shades of grey
- Inexplicable can become explicable -
- Everybody deserves an opportunity to be heard

Conduct Issues Process
- act fairly towards people who have been affected by your decisions
- This is the process of natural justice
- If there’s an complaint; you need to get all the info before you present to the staff member
- any verbal communication should be followed up in email

Natural Justice
- give info - no surprise
- Give opportunity - been heard
- Demonstrate independence - open mind - have to be able to demonstrate - watch language used -make sure that your language does not suggest predetermination
- Give reasons - details must be given as to why ...
- Give notice - prelim decision needs at BOT level

PEEPO - chart - factors that contribute to the event
- people
- Environment
- Equipment
- Procedures
- Organisation
Focussing on people only leads to blame - this is often what we default to - but can lead to a culture of blames and lack of openness.

Investigation Interviews
- get the statement signed off
- Open ended questions about state of mind - tell me what happened? Tell me about it?
- Just gathering info - always let them know the 3 possibilities
- Don’t talk about allegation until the investigation meeting

- what if complainants want to be anonymous - cannot take disciplinary action if anonymous complaint
- anonymous complaints not followed up
- How does this affect learning relationship - maybe get general feedback
- be careful about professional comments in any comments
- suspension - avoid - discretionary leave - alternative duties
- interview complainant first, then witnesses
- keep everyone informed