University of Chester

Programme Specification
Regulatory Services Investigation FDS
2014 - 2015

Foundation Science Degree

Regulatory Services Investigation

Regulatory Services Investigation

University of Chester

Cheshire Constabulary, Local Authority and the University of Chester.

University of Chester, Warrington Campus.

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 Years

5 Years



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

Skills@Justice - sector skills council []

 The course content is underpinned by the "Practice Advice on Core Investigative Doctrine" (ACPO Centrex 2005)

Criminology  (where relevant)

Policing Module Assessment Board

Friday 1st July 2011

The educational aims of the programme are to develop students' ability to utilise their research skills, evaluate existing bodies of knowledge, critically evaluate new information and ideas, and accept accountability for their actions and conclusions. The programme will also equip investigators with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to conduct professional and objective investigations, while maintaining an approach that recognises the concerns and needs of all parties involved. By the end of the programme investigators will be better able to exercise appropriate judgment in a number of complex situations and:

  • Explain the investigative process and planning required to conduct an investigation relating to Serious and Complex Crime.
  • Apply the investigative mindset.
  • Plan, prepare, conduct and evaluate investigative interviews with suspects, victims and witness in accordance with legislation, national advice and best practice.
  • Critically analyse evidence and intelligence and assess its value in the investigation process, balanced against criminal legislation, procedure and human rights.
  • Demonstrate how to make and record decisions during an investigation.
  • Explain how investigative and evidential evaluation can assist to determine the value of material gathered in an investigation.
  • Use core investigative strategies, common to most investigations, including victim and witness, suspect and scene strategies.
  • Record their decision-making processes, and justify their actions, in criminal and civil proceedings.

Knowledge and Understanding

A factual and conceptual knowledge of investigative interviewing and the context within whichit is used.
Anawareness of the ethical issues involved in investigative interviewing.
Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of criminal investigation.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

An ability to collect and categorise 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 such interviews and to defend conclusions against critical examination.
Demonstrate a competence and appropriateness in the application ofthe use of investigatory skills.
An ability to act with limited autonomy 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 other members of the group and alsowith 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 investigative interviewing
The ability to:
1. Formulate a coherent argument, with the appropriate use of data and evidence.
2. Critically evaluate their own performance and respond appropriately.
3. Resolve complex problems in context.
4. An awareness of the needs of society generally and of its most vulnerable members particularly.
5. Understand the importance of personal and organisational ethics.
6. Work with other organisations and individuals.

Level 4: 120 Credits

Exit Award: Cert HE Investigative Interviewing (academic and professional award). Members of the local authority whose roles require only an investigative interviewing programme, will complete Level 4 only. However, some students who complete this programme may progress to complete PIP level 2 Investigative Interviewing at Level 5, at some stage in the future, upon the recommendation of the local authority employer, providing their job role requires skills at Level 5.

Similarly, because of their current role, some students will only initially complete Level 4, but at some stage in the future, because of a change in role, may be required to complete Level 5 of the programme.

Due to the dynamics which exist within Local Authority Regulatory Services Investigation this programme requires such flexibility.

Level 5: 120 Credits FdSc Regulatory Services Investigation (academic and professional award). 

The Foundation Degree in Regulatory Services Investigation is a level 4 and 5 qualification: Level 4 consists of PIP Level 1 and Cert HE Investigative Interviewing.  Level 5 consists of three modules which cover: investigatory practice, a placement in an operational unit, and submission of a relevant case study.  Students will normally complete Level 4 and 5 in 2 years. The programme is designed for those Local Authority officers who wish to develop their ability to critically review their work, utilise their research skills, develop their technical expertise and exercise a degree of professional judgment whilst making their career in 'Crime Investigation'. The objective is for students to gain a Foundation Degree in Regulatory Services Investigation and to meet the National Occupational Standards for investigation.

Level 6

The Local Authority is currently in negotiation with the Programme Team to assess the suitability of a progression to a Level 6 qualification.  This is at an early stage and no further details are available currently.

Please note that with the exception of module SO5611, 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
SO4622 4 Investigative Interviewing of Victims and Witnesses in relation to Priority and Volume Crime 20 Comp
SO4623 4 Investigative Interviewing of Suspects in relation to Priority and Volume Crime. 20 Comp
SO4624 4 Investigative Interviewing of Suspects in relation to Priority and Volume Crime - Placement. 40 Comp
SO4625 4 Investigative Interviewing of Victims and Witnesses in relation to Priority and Volume Crime - Placement. 40 Comp
SO5610 5 Developing Skills within Regulatory Investigation 40 Comp
SO5611 5 Regulatory Services Investigation Project 40 Comp
SO5612 5 Regulatory Services Investigation Placement 40 Comp

Level 4: 120 Credits
Exit Award: Cert HE Investigative Interviewing (academic and professional award)
Level 5: 120 Credits
FdSc Regulatory Services Investigation (academic and professional award)

Predominantly students who attend this programme will be employed by the Local Authority and will be working within a law enforcement capacity and will have therefore previously been CRB vetted.  In the event of this not being the norm a decision will be made by the constabulary based upon the circumstances. 

Students will be employed by their respective professional organisations and meet the professional standards required for their occupational status.  

Students who successfully completed the Cert HE Investigative Interviewing are eligible to complete the Level 5 FdSc Regulatory Service Investigation, however only those students who require full investigative and interviewing skills to conduct their role will be authorised by the local authority to complete Level 5.  A more detailed explanation of this can be found under section 24a Programme Structure and Features: Levels, Modules, Credits, Awards.



  • Recommendation for suitability by the Local Authority






Foundation Degree, 120 credits at both level 4 and 5


  •  Current job role requires appropriate level of learning and development



Students wishing to take the Foundation Degree in Regulatory Services Investigation will be employed within a suitable regulatory enforcement role within their local authority, required to show an aptitude for investigation and will be recommended for the programme by the Local Authority

As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of professionals who require investigative interviewing skills, 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.


Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

An understanding of the social and historical development of policing, of the changing values governing police work including human rights, of the structure and culture of police work in different locations, of policing diversity, and of new and emergent forms of private and state policing.

Able to recognise different police cultures, historical and contemporary trends in police work, and the implications of changes in the values governing police work and police practice in a diverse society.

Able to evaluate policing practices and developments in terms of changing values and relationships between individuals, groups, and public and private agencies in different locations.

Cognitive abilities


Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

An appreciation of the complexity of crime and victimisation; able to assess the merits of competing theories and explanations.

Able to describe contrasting interpretations of crime and victimisation.

Able to assess a range of perspectives and discuss the strengths of each for the understanding of crime and victimisation.

An understanding of how to design research appropriately in relation to a specific problem, how to gather, retrieve and synthesise information, including comparative data; an understanding of how to evaluate research data including both quantitative and qualitative data.

Able to gather and summarise information.

Able to draw on materials from a range of sources and demonstrate an ability to synthesise them. Able to design and use appropriate research strategies for data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods. Able to apply basic statistical techniques where appropriate.

An understanding of how to assess the ethical issues arising in particular research situations.

Able to describe quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, and to undertake basic analysis.

Able to distinguish between ethical and unethical research practice.

Ability to review and evaluate criminological evidence.

Able to identify an ethically appropriate action. Able to cite evidence and make judgments about its merits.

Able to draw on relevant evidence to evaluate competing explanations.

Ability to develop a reasoned argument.

Able to contrast different points of view and discuss them in a logically coherent manner.

Able to evaluate the viability of competing explanations within criminology and to draw logical and appropriate conclusions.

Subject-specific skills


Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

Ability to analyse, assess methodologically and communicate information and empirical research findings about crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance

Able to summarise the findings of empirical research on criminological issues including the ability to identify the methodological framework used.

Able to summarise and explain empirical information and research findings about crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance; able to assess the methodology used.

Ability to identify a range of different strategies and methods and use appropriate research tools in relation to criminological problems, including quantitative, qualitative and evaluative techniques.

Able to apply basic research tools appropriately and in a preliminary way.

Able to apply basic research tools appropriately in relation to theoretically driven, exploratory, or evaluation research.

Ability to investigate criminological questions in relation to victimisation, crime, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these.

Able to undertake a preliminary criminological investigation of crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Able to gather appropriate qualitative or quantitative information to address criminological questions in relation to crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these, using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Ability to identify the ethical issues and the range of ethical problems in research into criminological questions and to take action within the Guidelines of Ethical Practice for Criminology.

Able to recognise the ethical dimensions of research into criminological questions.

Able to recognise the ethical implications of research into criminological questions and to identify appropriate solutions.

For the sector skills council they are

 CJ 101 Interview victims and witnesses in relation to priority and volume

  • CJ101.1 - Plan and prepare interviews with victims and witnesses.
  • CJ101.2 - Conduct interviews with victims and witnesses.
  • CJ101.3 - Evaluate interviews with victims and witnesses and carry out post-interview processes.

CJ 201 - Interview suspects in relation to priority and volume investigations

  • CJ201.1 - Plan and prepare interviews with suspects.
  • CJ201.2 - Conduct interviews with suspects.
  • CJ201.3 - Evaluate interviews with suspects and carry out post-interview processes.

CI 102  Plan, Conduct and Evaluate Interviews with victims and witnesses for dedicated investigations.      

 3.1 Plan and prepare interviews with victims and witnesses.                                        

 3.2 Conduct interviews with victims and witnesses.                                       

 3.3 Evaluate interviews and carry out post-interview processes.

CJ 102  Plan, Conduct Interviews with Suspects for Dedicated Investigations.                                     

4.1 Plan and prepare interviews with suspects.

4.2 Conduct interviews with suspects.

4.3 Evaluate interviews and carry out post-interview processes.

CJ  202 Plan and Conduct Allocated Investigations                                

3.1 Plan allocated investigations.

3.2 Conduct allocated investigations. 


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

SEMINARS - will provide opportunities for more student-centred and interactive learning.  These will be organised around themes for discussion and/or designated reading with the aim of enabling students to deepen their knowledge of a particular subject and to develop their ability to critically examine alternative perspectives. 

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 skills.

TUTORIALS - will provide the opportunity for individuals or small groups of students to meet with individual staff members.  The aim is to provide a context whereby students' personal development and progress can be assessed (formative feedback); students can be encouraged to develop learning skills; students can be assisted to make informed and realistic choices within their course and support can be offered for individual or group project work, work-related placements and dissertation supervision.

MANAGED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - these will comprise of formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students' academic skills in preparation for summative assessments (in line with the QAA code of practice - ensuring students have adequate time to reflect on learning before being assessed).

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 can inform investigations. 

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

CASE STUDY- will allow the student to undertake independent study to produce a coherent written document on a Regulatory Services Investigation subject that meets academic standards at Level 5, evidencing all the knowledge and skills acquired in order to do so.  Students will be provided on request with 30 minutes individual supervision every two weeks by a nominated supervisor who will provide guidance on subject area, literature reviews, method of enquiry, ethical approval, and structure of written work and employment of theoretical frameworks.

The assessments address academic learning outcomes, professional competences and the development of the 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 which are required of professionals who undertake investigative interviewing.

Formative assessment is intended to foster student development and to improve students' 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 believe 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 no "formal" formative assessment in the final module.

Summative assessment, unlike formative assessment provides a measure of student achievement with respect to their performance in relationship to the programme's intended learning outcomes. Given the vocational nature of the programme summative assessment will be modelled, in large part, on professionally relevant activities such as interview planning, analysis and review, the development of policy documents and the proper recording of evidence.  

Module SO5611 has a written project formative assessment which will take place during tutorials with Tutors and summative assessment will be the submission of a written project with a maximum of 8,000 words.

Module SO5612 is a work placement and summative assessment is by the submission of a portfolio evidencing competency against the relevant National Occupational Standards.

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) (2013) UK Quality Code for Higher Education - Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning.

Formative assessments are varied and may include:

  • Knowledge checks on theories of interviewing.
  • Planning and preparation for interviewing.
  • Conduct and analyse interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects.
  • Commentary on Interviewing techniques.
  • Analysis of recorded interviews.
  • Preparation of interview transcripts.
  • Review case materials.
  • Plan and conduct an investigation into Serious and Complex Crime.
  • Be subject to self, peer and tutor review.
  • Collecting and collating evidence.
  • Brief senior officers on the investigation.
  • Develop a "policy book".

Summative assessments will include: 

  • Essays on theories of interviewing.
  • Interview planning.
  • Recordings of interviews (both role play and operational).
  • Analysis of interviews.
  • Interview transcripts.
  • Develop a "policy book".
  • Develop investigative strategies including decisions and rational.
  • Oral tribunal by presenting evidence in a court setting and being cross examined by a Lawyer.

Students have to pass all module assessment components at level 4 and all module assessment components of modules SO5610 and SO5612 at level 5. 

A successful graduate of this programme will be both a competent investigative interviewer and an investigator at a foundational level.  As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of professionals, who require both investigative interviewing and investigative skills, the Foundation Degree in Regulatory Services Investigation is designed to meet the professional requirements of the relevant professional bodies. Extensive discussion has taken place both with Cheshire Constabulary and the Local Authority to ensure that the programme meets their professional needs.


  1. The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
  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. All are committed to ensuring that all staff shall be given equality of opportunity to progress within the organization in line with their skills and potential. This policy includes recruitment, transfer, promotion and training.

This programme has been developed with professional partners to meet their professional needs.

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