Conducting Workplace Investigations & Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods

Conducting Workplace Investigations & Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus/Covid-19, this event has been postponed until Autumn 2020. If you'd like to be notified when the new date is confirmed, please email

When does a complaint warrant an investigation? When would it be better to use mediation techniques to resolve the complaint? Does the allegation fall within the legal definitions of inappropriate behaviour or other forms of gross misconduct? Do you know which of the various Codes of Practice or laws to follow when conducting an investigation? Do you have a ‘best practice’ process for applying other methods of resolution before proceeding to a formal investigation?  

These and many more questions will arise throughout what can be a convoluted and frustrating process.

Our best selling Conducting Workplace Investigations and Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods course will equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to guide employees through the most suitable conflict resolution methods, including an introduction to the key concepts of workplace mediation and how to conduct/ participate in workplace investigations sensibly, fairly, and effectively in keeping with the legal and procedural.

What are the Learning Outcomes?

  • Identify what issues warrant a formal investigation what complaints / issues might best be resolved through informal resolution or mediation
  • Understand what is meant by ‘inappropriate behaviours' at work, and how to identify whether these behaviours constitute bullying or harassment
  • Describe the key concepts of how to manage a workplace mediation, including how to reach agreement to mediate, how to manage the process and how to follow up afterwards
  • Be able to conduct a formal investigation from start to finish– procedure, questioning, note-taking, witnesses, report
  • Practical samples to take away with you

Who should attend?
This event is ideally suited to employers, senior managers, investigation officers and HR professionals.

When and where? 
9.30am - 4.45pm, Autumn 2020
Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport

Early Bird rate: €375
Standard rate: €425
Save an additional €20 if you book and pay online.




Learning Method


Introduction and Course Objectives

Course tutor introduction and participants are invited to outline what they would like to achieve from the training session.

Tutor-lead discussion and tutor documenting participants desired learning outcomes on flipchart to reference during the session.


When to investigate, formal v informal?

The first challenge faced by supervisors and line managers is what should their initial response be to an employee complaint or issue?

Attendees will review a range of practical scenarios which describe employee complaints  and issues ranging from allegations of bullying to suspicion of theft, with the objective of learning when to investigate, when to mediate and what can be handled informally.

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, followed by a group review and tutor -lead discussion of some fictitious scenarios, provided by the tutor, to determine what may be appropriate response/s to each issue; when relevant, the tutor will reference any relevant legislation.


Refreshment Break and Networking


How to identify inappropriate behaviours at work

A key area which can give rise to the need to investigate is the area of alleged bullying, harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination; this part reviews the definition and examples of these types of inappropriate behaviour at work, and how to determine, with reference to the legal guidelines firstly whether a complaint actually falls within these definitions or not, and secondly what may be the appropriate course of follow-up action (e.g. informal resolution, mediation, investigation).

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, and tutor-lead discussion with reference to the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011, and the H.S.A. Code of Practice on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work.


Lunch and Networking


Key concepts of workplace mediation

Mediation is a skill that requires practice, patience and maturity; the purpose of this session is to provide attendees with enough information to begin that journey, to introduce participants to the key concepts of what is a ‘best practice ‘mediation intervention, how to manage a workplace mediation, including how to reach agreement to mediate, how to manage the process and how to follow up afterwards.

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, Q&A encouraged to help participants understand how to interpret the best practice guidelines.


Refreshment Break and Networking


Conducting and documenting a formal investigation

  • Reminder of key codes of practice and legal guidelines as they relate to investigations
  • An overview of the role of the investigator
  • A checklist for the pre-interview documentation to be issued (terms of reference, scope, timeframe, outputs, appeal) – importance of transparency
  • Importance of appointing an impartial investigation panel
  • A checklist of appropriate questions to ask the complainant, person complained of and any witnesses
  • Role of representatives
  • A guide to appropriate note-taking
  • How to handle requests for mediation, counselling, withdrawal of complaint etc… that may arise during the investigation
  • How to prepare an investigation report and sample report layout

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, group discussion, group review of sample investigation notes (to be provided by tutor).


Final stages: the outputs of the formal investigation

How to form conclusions and make recommendations

  • Principles of transparency of information
  • Final communications with the employee / complainant, person complained about
  • Appeals

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, group discussion, group review of sample investigation report (to be provided by tutor).


Summary and conclusions

Tutor PowerPoint presentation, followed by Q&A




“Yes, brilliant the person welcoming us was very good, everything was very well organised, and everyone was welcomed leaving and entering.  It was a great atmosphere.”
Stephen Walsh, HR Generalist, Codec

“The course was excellent, and it was a great learning curve”
Bridget Weldon, Clerical Officer, OPW

“Excellent content, format and general advice”
Des Dillane, HR Business Partner, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Michelle is a great facilitator and used very practical examples throughout the day. The material provided is very comprehensive and a great take away for future reference."
Rebecca Domican, HR Business Partner, Central Bank of Ireland

"The course was structured which made it easy to follow and understand throughout. The various examples used were helpful in determining the best approach whether it be formal or informal, the procedure to follow i.e. disciplinary or bullying and harassment and key areas to focus on in an investigation."
Amanda Scully, HR Officer, Management Support Services Ireland Limited

"The presenter was excellent, her knowledge and experience was very impressive and her communication skills were top rate."
Michelle Coughlan, Higher Executive Officer, Chief State Solicitor's Office

"It was very practical and the case discussions and step by step guides were useful."
Geraldine Gillick, HR Officer, NTMA

"I really liked the methodology approach and the presentation skills and knowledge of Michelle."
Judith Marquez, HR Executive, Medical Council

“The facilitator was very knowledgeable, great practical examples and good input from other participants.”
Alison Foran , HR Officer, Fold Ireland


  • Michelle Halloran
    Michelle Halloran Trainer
    Human Resource Management Services

    Michelle Halloran is an experienced Human Resource Management professional providing training and consultancy services to organisations nationwide, in the Public and Private sector. She has spent a long career originally in executive and general management roles, then specialising in Human Resources management in Ireland, the UK and Europe, across various sectors including investment banking, information technology, manufacturing and services plus some time in the public sector, before starting her own HR consultancy business 12 years ago. Her key areas of expertise are in workplace investigations, disciplinary and performance management and employee relations, and the practical application of employment law in a HR context.

Event details


9.30am - 4.45pm


18 June 2020


Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport


Early Bird Rate: €375 (deadline 5pm on Friday 15 May 2020)
Standard Rate: €425