Our basic investigations course, Conducting Serious Incident Investigations, has brought LRA national recognition for its expertise in conducting investigations in human services and LTC agencies serving vulnerable populations. This competency-based curriculum leaves participants with measurable knowledge and critical skills which helps agencies to implement an effective investigative function, one important element in creating a safe and caring living environment for vulnerable populations.
The goal of the training is to provide investigators the opportunity to fully develop their skills, including critical thinking skills. The training requires demonstration of their abilities, and feedback from LRA, to enhance learning in each competency area. In addition to lectures by the LRA trainer, course participants must demonstrate competency through a variety of methods: role playing, written exercises, and large and small group discussions. An understanding of these techniques and procedures are essential if agencies are to reach sound and supportable conclusions and take appropriate action to protect those they serve from harm. In the past, DOJ and CMS have recognized and approved LRA’s investigations curriculum in meeting their requirement for small group competency-based training.
LRA offers additional investigative programs including an Advanced Course in Investigations and Weighing Evidence and Drawing Conclusions. We also provide specialized investigative training programs for state survey agencies and APS agencies which are described below.
Conducting Incident and Complaint Investigations: Techniques for Observation, Interviewing and Record Review
LRA offers a course designed for State Survey Agencies, Conducting Incident and Complaint Investigations: Techniques for Observation, Interviewing and Record Review. This four day program is based on the three primary methods used during the survey process to organize an investigation and promote a systematic collection of facts on which conclusions are based. It is designed to teach participants the fundamental principles of investigation including:
- Organizing an investigation, and off-site preparation activities;
- Principles of observation and the collection and preservation of physical evidence;
- Interviewing techniques for collecting detailed information from witnesses and preserving testimonial evidence;
- Collecting documentary evidence, and issues related to record review including the analysis of incidents for trends and patterns;
- Weighing evidence to reach supportable conclusions;
- Specific investigative processes related to incidents of abuse, neglect and death.
APS Investigations: Conducting Investigations of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
LRA offers a three day course specifically for APS caseworkers to enhance investigative practices in response to allegations of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation based on our Conducting Serious Incident Investigations course curriculum. This course is tailored to reflect the APS mission, focusing on conducting in-home investigations and the development of interviewing skills. Modifications to the curriculum and the 71 page manual used in the training include:
- Revised examples and course content to reflect the high volume of APS investigations in the community and in family homes.
- Additional information regarding summarizing and evaluating evidence, standards of proof, and determining investigative findings.
- Training content which reflects APS terminology and investigative processes, such as the preservation of testimonial evidence.
Certification Program for Investigators
The certification process is designed to ensure that investigators have the necessary knowledge and skills to competently perform this function. Two levels of certification are available to those who have completed the Conducting Serious Incident Investigations course.
See our Investigations Certifications.
Evaluating the Quality of Investigations
LRA has developed a self-assessment and evaluation methodology which assists organizations in the effective implementation of the investigative function and provides objective, on-going feedback about the quality of investigations. This evaluation process serves two basic purposes. First, the standards provide guidance to individual investigators by defining expectations for the performance of a quality investigation, as well as serve as a self-assessment mechanism which can provide feedback to improve their skills. Secondly, the evaluation process can be used to assist those with responsibility for oversight and quality improvement of the investigative process. It can be used as part of the oversight effort at the highest level in the organization, providing a means by which the investigative system as a whole can be evaluated and the resulting information used to monitor and improve, where needed, the quality of investigations.
See Investigations Training Programs for more details.