Incident investigations refers to a wide variety of events, from crime incidents to accounting incidents. While the range is broad, the procedures to investigate incidents follow a common theme. Almost all incidents act as a trigger for notification. Action, from disciplinary to corrective, ensues.
Incident procedures start with an issue that needs to be resolved. Most procedures begin with filling out a report. A copy of the report template can be kept within a manual. Incident procedures describe the nature of the event which can open an investigation. The form requests information such as the date and time of the incident, and any other information that might be relevant to the investigation. The more information the form requests, the easier the incident is to investigate.
Procedures will often require information for witnesses or partners. Notify the listed person or copy him the incident investigation procedure form. Also be sure to notify him in case he needs to be contacted during the course of the investigation.
Procedures usually require the identification of all team members working on the investigation. The team, which includes management and employees, identifies contributing factors. Contributing factors are common reasons for incidents. They help to facilitate the investigation process by prioritizing next steps.
Procedures include an exhaustive list of contributing factors to choose from. Each one should be defined within the context of the investigation. A root cause analysis may be required if the contributing factors are not compelling. Using all the information provided, the purpose of a root cause analysis is to define the problem.
Incident investigation procedure outlines the steps needed to document preventative actions, recommendations and action plans with accountability. A basic action plan will contain recommendations from the investigation team, assigned ownership for correcting the incident and a target date for completion. Procedures are then updated, communicated and stored in a centrally located file.