University of Chester

Programme Specification
Investigative Interviewing of Priority and Volume Crime (PIP Level 1) ProfCert
2014 - 2015

Professional Certificate

Investigative Interviewing of Priority and Volume Crime (PIP Level 1)

Investigative Interviewing of Priority and Volume Crime (PIP Level 1)

University of Chester

University of Chester

Warrington Campus - University of Chester

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year Full-Time; 2 years Part-Time

3 Years



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

None as such but this certificate conforms to the recommendations of the College of Policing and the sector skills council (Skills@Justice).


Sunday 1st August 2010

To give police officers and other professionals who require such skills, a foundation level of knowledge and understanding to enable them to achieve professional competence in the investigative interviewing of priority and volume crime and enable them to:

  • Identify and use relevant skills to become successful interviewers
  • Have an awareness of the different approaches to interviewing
  • Research, collate, analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information, thus enabling the application of professional knowledge and law and procedure
  • Take responsibility for their professional actions
  • Use these theories, skills and analysis in the context of their professional role.


Knowledge and Understanding

A factual and conceptual knowledge of investigative interviewing and the context within it is used.
Anawareness of the ethical issues involved in investigative interviewing
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

An ability to collect, categorise and utilise information gathered by means of investigative interviewing
An ability, with guidance, to analyse information gathered in investigative interviewing.
An ability to evaluate conclusions derived from the process of investigative interviewing
The application of such skills as outlined above in the context of their profession.
Practical Skills

An ability to conduct an investigative interview, to analyse and evaluate the content of such interview and to defend conclusions against critical examination.
An ability to act witha degree ofautonomy under direction and supervision.
Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

An ability to interview and communicate the conclusions of such a process and to be able to defend their conclusions under examination within a legal and ethical context.
An ability to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as an investigative interviewer
An ability to work appropriately with others as members of the group and also as representatives of other agencies involved in professional decision making.
An ability to use the concepts and methodology associated with investigative interviewing and to recognise the complexity of so doing.
Transferable Professional Skills

An ability to conduct, analyse and evaluate conclusions derived from the investigative interviewing process

Please note that this programme has been granted derogation from the University's Regulation, and therefore all components of assessment must be passed with a minimum mark of 40%.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO4618 4 Investigative interviewing of victims and witnesses in relation to priority and volume crime. 20 Comp
SO4619 4 Investigative interviewing of suspects in relation to priority and volume crime. 20 Comp
SO4620 4 Investigative interviewing of Victims and Witnesses in relation to Priority and Volume Crime placement 10 Comp
SO4621 4 Investigative Interviewing of Suspects in Relation to Priority and Volume Crime placement 10 Comp

60 credits at Level 4.

Students will be employed by their respective professional organisations and meet the professional standards required for their occupational status.  They will be nominated by their employer and will have to show an ability to work at Level 4.

As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of professionals who require investigative interviewing skills, the Professional Certificate in Investigative Interviewing of Priority and Volume Crime is designed to meet the professional requirements of the relevant professional bodies.  

The principles of the programme are:-

  • Employer involvement
  • Accessibility
  • Partnership
  • The development of relevant knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and behaviours

 The certificate also meets the requirements of the Cheshire Police and of other participating partners.

The programme utilises a variety of learning and teaching methods, which provide opportunities for students to enhance their learning skills and personal development during their certificate programme.  These teaching and learning methods also take account of equal opportunities and inclusive practice. 

WORKSHOPS - these are intended to provide experience in collaborative and creative problem solving.  Workshops will also aim to develop key skills in information retrieval and presentation, communication skills and team/group work.

TUTORIALS - will provide the opportunity for individuals or small groups of students to meet with individual staff members. 

MANAGED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - will comprise of formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students' academic skills in preparation for summative assessments.

PRACTICAL PROBLEM BASED ACTIVITIES - these will allow students to conduct practical activities related to a given problem/task and develop their understanding of how evidence and intelligence can inform investigations. 

WORK PLACEMENT - will allow students to put into practice the skills they will have learned in earlier modules.

The assessments address academic learning outcomes, professional competences and the development of student experience. A range of both formative and summative assessment/methods are used. Many of the methods of summative assessment reflect forms of recording, reporting, presentation and analysis that are required of professionals who undertake investigative interviewing. In modules SO4618 and SO4619 formative assessment takes place in workshops, the "classroom" and in specific activities to help students prepare for their summative assessment. Whereas in SO4620 and SO4621, skills learnt in earlier modules are developed and contextualised in the placement experience.  

In all modules formative assessment is intended to foster student development and improve their ability to acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to meet the programme objectives. Two forms of formative assessment are used in the programme.  The first is embedded in  “classroom” activities where tutors will ask questions and require students to undertake small tasks to assess their level of understanding and whether they have fully achieved the objectives required by the programme. If, when assessed, the student and/or their tutor feel that the student has not yet attained the required level of skill and knowledge tutors will identify weaknesses and suggest ways in which they can improve. The second is a more formal “practice presentation” of the summative assessment and will normally take place about half way through the programme. There will be regular ongoing formative assessment within the work placement modules SO4620 and SO4621, with tutors and supervisory officers.

Summative assessment, unlike formative assessment provides a measure of student achievement with respect to their performance in relationship to the intended learning outcomes of the Professional Certificate. 

The pedagogical basis of these assessment strategies are discussed in:

 Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning, Educational Assessment: Principles, Policy and Practice, 5, pp. 7-74. Bloom, B. S., Hastings, J. T., & Madaus, G. F (Eds.) (1971) . Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York: McGraw-Hill. Wiliam, D. & Black, P. (1996) Meaning and Consequences: a basis for distinguishing formative and summative functions of assessment? British Educational Research Journal, 22(5).

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2000, Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, Section 6: Assessment of students, May 2000

Formative assessments are varied and may include:

  • Knowledge checks on theories of Interviewing
  • Planning and preparation for interviewing including written plan
  • Commentary on interviewing techniques
  • Analysis and evaluation of recorded interviews

Summative assessments will include: 

  • Planning and preparing for an investigative interview including a written plan.
  • Recordings of interviews (both role play and operational)
  • Analysis and evaluation of interviews
  • Reflective journals
Students have to pass all components of the Certificate; therefore there is a need for the programme to be excepted from the relevant University Principles and Regulations which allow students to pass by compensation.

A successful graduate of this programme will be a competent investigative interviewer at a foundational level. They will attain "PIP Level 1" in this specific area, as defined by the College of Policing.   As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and the development of professionals, who require investigative interviewing skills, the Professional Certificate in Investigative Interviewing of Priority and Volume Crime is designed to meet the professional requirements of a number of professional bodies.  Extensive discussion has taken place both with police forces and other enforcement professionals (such as Trading Standards) to ensure that the Certificate meets their professional need. Graduates will serve in such professions as the police, trading standards, local government enforcement agencies, customs and exercise and social services etc.

  1. The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an educational institution.  For this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice.  The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender, and Disability.  It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment.  The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies.  The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job.  The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination.  In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; socio-economic background.  It also claims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not suffer unfair discrimination and are enabled to achieve their full potential. The objective of the policy is to promote a University which is open to all sections of the community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.
  2. While the programme will meet all the requirements of the University's diversity policy, students on this programme will also be subject to the diversity and equality policies of their respective professional bodies.

This programme has been developed with professional partners to meet their professional need and is funded under the employer engagement scheme.

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