What is an Investigation Report?
An investigation report is a document that details the findings of an investigation as soon as a formal complaint is filed or an incident occurs. This is where investigators record the issues of the matter, analyze the evidence, and formulate a conclusion. It is impartial and based on evidence, not on the opinions of an investigator or the parties involved.
Investigation reports aim to provide decision-makers with the facts needed to determine a course of action. They can also be used to ensure that a case undergoes a timely, complete, and accurate investigation.
This article features (1) 3 essential steps to cover in investigation reports; (2) 4 benefits of using software for evidence documentation and investigation reporting; and (3) free investigation report templates you can download and customize.
Click here to download top 5 investigation report templates
3 Essential Steps in Writing a Comprehensive Investigation Report
An investigation is a step-by-step method of determining facts about an issue. Without proper documentation, however, one cannot present a clear picture of what happened. To ensure that all facts and evidence are collated and analyzed, an investigator should follow three essential steps.
Start With What You Know
The investigator should record the information about the subject (respondent or accused person) and the details of the complaint. Take note of specific descriptions such as times, dates, or locations to further clarify the issues of the matter.
Example: Alicia Bates alleges that Clark Nichols, a payroll clerk, has been falsifying his timesheet. Alicia says that she noticed a discrepancy when she reviewed the timesheets in preparation for the January 2019 payroll. On February 4, Alicia required Clark to explain in writing said discrepancies and saw that it did not align with the hours that he reported.
Make Sense of What You Have
Evidence analysis can substantiate claims from either party. The investigator should gather physical evidence such as footage, email records, documents or papers, physical objects, etc. and document investigative interviews. These should then be analyzed to identify the relevant facts, assess the credibility of disputed facts, and dismiss irrelevant facts.
Example: CCTV footage shows that Clark was not in the office during the times he reported in his timesheet. I interviewed Clark on February 11, and he denied the allegations. He said that he would start as early as 4 AM sometimes and go to a local fast food chain for breakfast by 8 AM, which he argued explained his absence. Clark sought the assistance of a fellow payroll clerk, Alfred Mariano, to cover up his conduct. I interviewed Alfred on February 12, and he said that he usually sees Clark in the office after their lunch break.
Formulate a Conclusion
State the conclusion reached based on the facts and supporting evidence. At the end of the report, the investigator should indicate whether the matter is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or inconclusive.
Example: There is clear evidence to prove that the subject falsified his timesheet, a violation of the Company Code of Conduct Section 3. Therefore, the complaint is substantiated.
4 Benefits of Using iAuditor for Investigation Reports
Evidence documentation and creating investigation reports using pen and paper can be time-consuming and burdensome. Investigators can use iAuditor, the world’s leading inspection software, and take advantage of these benefits:
✔ Easily document physical evidence and investigative interviews
Investigators can capture and annotate photos during the investigation. Save time by organizing recorded witness statements and collected evidence within the iAuditor mobile app!
✔ Automatically generate reports
The moment you complete an investigation, the investigation report is readily available in various formats such as PDF, DOC, etc. Submit the report to decision-makers for immediate action based on findings!
✔ Unlimited storage and data security
All your data are automatically saved online. Store unlimited investigation reports in the cloud and create or customize your own investigation report templates!
✔ Access anytime, anywhere
Consolidate your case notes on your mobile device to ensure that no detail is overlooked during the investigation. Investigators can edit and update investigation reports in real-time!