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RIPA, social media and online research - understanding, rules, boundaries, problems and pitfalls CPD workshop – 27 September 2022


  • A new CPD event that looks at how far investigators, analysts and intelligence staff are permitted to conduct online research and research on social media before they require an authorisation for directed surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to ensure that any material obtained is legally sound


  • It will also examine how far staff can go and under what circumstances they can research without an authority.


  • This event is aimed at investigators and staff from public authorities that undertake any form of online research using the internet or social media.


  • The final session will study when an authorisation for either staff or members of the public is required to be a Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) when conducting online activity, including chat forums.


  • Held online via Teams


  • Certificates of CPD available


The Investigator is hosting this new CPD workshop that provides contemporary best practice around the rules, legislation and boundaries around searching of individuals online and on social media.

The day will comprise of the following:


Session One  – Online Research & Directed Surveillance

This session will examine the issues of directed surveillance and when an authorisation for directed surveillance should be sought. The session consider the following areas:

  • What is and what is not classed as private information?

  • What constitutes a ‘line of enquiry’?

  • How much online research can be conducted prior to a directed surveillance authorisation being obtained?

  • At what point should a directed surveillance authority be considered?

  • What guidance is available and how can it be used effectively in a practical context?

  • What constitutes ‘general observations’ of the internet?

  • What is surveillance and what is directed surveillance and how do this effect online research?


Session 2 – Online Activity & Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS).

This session will examine the issues of online research and interaction with others from the perspective of requiring a CHIS authorisation. The session will consider the following areas:

  • What exactly is a CHIS and how does this impact online activity?

  • When do staff need to consider a CHIS application to undertake online activity?

  • When should members of the public be considered as CHIS for their online activity?

  • The ‘approved’ levels of online research and online undercover officers (UCOL) or CHIS?

  • The use of false personas and operational security issues.


Session 3 – Recap on the key considerations discussed throughout the day followed by an open discussion and opportunity for delegates to share their experiences and engage with our experts and fellow delegates.


Our expert trainer

The day will be led by expert trainer and Adrian Ramdat, a former investigator who spent over 26 years working operationally at a local, regional, national and international level in various covert roles including as a covert operative, manager and head of a Covert Management Operations Unit.  He was also previously seconded to the National Policing Improvement Agency where he held the portfolio for Covert Law Enforcement.


Cost: £194.99 + VAT (GBP) per delegate (LEA and Government Agency rate).  £295 + VAT Industry rate

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. 


Under no circumstances will a delegate be able to register using a free webmail address (ie: gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, AOL etc) but you can use one to login into Teams once your work email has been verified.

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.

Terms and conditions

NB: the price quoted is for one delegate to view the event live at the time of transmission. We do not provide copies of the recording to be viewed at a later date as our events are not open access events and we hold the copyright.  Reproduction without prior consent is strictly prohibited.