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Planning and Preparing for Witness Interviews, contemporary issues and best practice, 25 March 2024


  • A one-day workshop that provides contemporary issues and best practice around planning and preparing for witness interviews. The agenda is included below.


  • We’ll look at the Achieving Best Evidence updated 2022 guidance and provide practical advice around the important area of planning and preparing a witness interview. This stage of the interview is vital to ensure the needs of the witness are met and that the interview is conducted in an ethical and professional manner.


  • Workshop led by Dr Kevin Smith who is one of the principal authors of the Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) guidance.


  • Kevin has been the leading authority in the interviewing of vulnerable children and adult witnesses and victims for the past 32 years


  • Kevin was the NCA/NPCC National Vulnerable Witness Advisor between 2008 and 2023 before his retirement this year and has advised on numerous complex investigations in the UK and across the world. He now lectures in investigation at the University of Sunderland.


  • Kevin is also the author of three books and 19 research papers all relating to issues around vulnerable victims and witnesses. He has also recently written a new paper entitled ’25 years of ABE’.


  • Kevin was also a member of the writing team for the ABE guidance that was updated last year and is at the forefront of contemporary best practice relating to ABE.


The Investigator running this CPD training event that will be led by Dr Kevin Smith, one of the leading experts in Achieving Best Evidence.


The workshop will outline best practice around planning and preparing for a witness interview.


It is aimed at victim and witness interviewers in serious and complex investigations, specialist victim and witness interviewers and their line managers.


The day will cover:

  • Introduction and pre-interview assessment

  • Interview plans



9.20am-9.30am: Welcome and Introduction, Carol Jenkins, The Investigator


9.30am-10.20am: Session One

Introduction and pre-interview assessment

  • Legal basis for pre-interview assessment

  • Purposes served by pre-interview assessment

  • Ground to be covered in pre-interview assessment

  • How to conduct a pre-interview assessment


10.20am-10.30am: Questions

10.30am-11am: Break


11am-12.10pm: Session Two

Pre-interview assessment continued, including:

  • Consent, capacity, competence, credibility, and cooperation


12.10pm-12.20pm: Questions

12.20pm-12.50pm: Break

12.50pm-2pm: Session Three

Interview plans

  • Logistics

  • Objectives/topics: incident + investigation

  • Structure and sequence of topics

  • Techniques


2pm-2.10pm: Questions

2.10pm-2.20pm: Break

2.20pm-3pm: Session Four

Interview plans continued.

3pm-3.10pm: Questions

3.10pm: Workshop finishes


Cost: £202.50 + VAT (GBP) per delegate (LEA and Government Agency rate).  £252.50 + 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. 

Payment can be made by Debit/credit card. The meeting link will be sent out 7 days before the event.

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