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Building and developing hypotheses in major investigations, contemporary challenges and best practice, 1 October 2024


  • Provides best practice for investigators of all ranks and roles from the DC to the SIO on the vital role that developing a hypothesis or multiple hypotheses plays in a professional investigation.


  • Includes best practice on the key elements needed to develop a hypothesis and highlight any challenges and pitfalls that might affect the accuracy and integrity of the hypothesis. This could include cognitive bias and flawed decision making.


  • Provides a valuable insight into the successful building blocks of an investigation and provide some context to the work of the entire investigation team from the SIO to the analysts, intelligence team, and the OIC.


  • Developing hypotheses is the cornerstone of an investigation and the foundation for investigative decision making, it is a key skill for every Senior Investigating Officer. It is also essential that every member of the investigation team has an insight into the process of building and developing hypotheses and how critical it is to set the culture and protect the integrity of the investigation.


  • The workshop will be led by recently retired Det Supt Carl Foster, who was served for 31 years in the Eastern Region, at every rank of CID. His career culminated in him being appointed Head of Major Crime at Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Team. His experience includes investigating complex homicides, Cold Case Murder and unsolved historic serious sexual offences.


  • He will be joined by highly experienced DI Justine Jenkins from Hertfordshire Constabulary Major Crime Unit who has worked on numerous major investigations throughout her 30 year-career. Carl and Justine will draw on their impressive operational experience, the Major Crime Investigation Manual 2021, and official NPCC and College of Policing guidance.


  • We’re also delighted to welcome Noel McHugh the National Crime Agency SIO Advisor for the Southeast. Mr McHugh is a former high experienced SIO who is well-regarded and respected in both national and international law enforcement. He will provide latest best practice and advice from the National Crime Agency in respect of forming hypotheses and decision making.


  • He will also provide details of the specialist support his Major Crime Investigative Support (MCIS) Team can offer the investigation to inform this process.


  • Held online via Teams


  • Certificates of CPD available


The Investigator is running this ‘must attend’ workshop that looks at how to build and develop hypotheses in a major investigation.

The workshop will include:

  • What is a hypothesis?

  • What is its role in an investigation?

  • How do you develop and build a hypothesis or multiple hypotheses and define a clear objective/s?

  • How do you develop and manage an investigation with multiple hypotheses?

  • Factors that can affect the developing of an inaccurate hypothesis such as cognitive bias and ineffective decision making

  • The importance of good decision making and ensuring the investigation is proportionate.

  • The importance of understanding all available information, intelligence and evidence, developing hypotheses based upon that knowledge.

  • We’ll draw on past investigations to provide context and an operational focus to the workshop.


Who should attend?

All investigators from DC to the SIO who want to develop and enhance their understanding of the role and the importance of hypotheses in any major, large scale or complex criminal investigation.


Cost: £199.75+ VAT (GBP) per delegate (LEA and Government Agency rate).  £299.75 + VAT (Industry rate). 

Group bookings: We offer various discounts for group bookings depending on numbers, please contact us for details.

Booking: Please send the delegates name(s), email address(es) and purchase order (made out to The Investigator) to or telephone +44(0)844 660 8707 for further information. 

Payment can be made by PayPal/debit/credit card (corporate card fees apply + 3%). ​The meeting link will be sent out 7 days before the event.

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