Quality Handbook














Corporate and Professional Education (CaPE)







Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)


Level 6















1.Market Rationale


The professionalisation of investigative interviewing practice within policing has seen the development of the role of the inter Specialist Suspect Interviewer to provide highly skilled and professional interviewers for serious, complex and major investigations. There is an ongoing training need to ensure that each force has sufficient numbers of Specialist Interviewers to meet business demands. A reduction in police training personnel and budgets has seen fewer courses being offered internally and more out-sourcing of investigative interview training. Policing is also undertaking a drive towards ensuring the skills and knowledge gained within the workplace are recognised in a transferrable qualification and this has led to a closer collaboration with HE institutions.


There are 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales. Additionally British Transport Police, Royal Military Police, Police Service Northern Ireland and Police Scotland also utilise trained Specialist Interviewers. It is not unusual for small forces to require an annual training course for Specialist Interviewers (usually 8 students per cohort) due to retirements, postings and promotions creating an ever-evolving turnover of trained and available staff. Clearly this figure is higher in larger forces.


It is anticipated that there could be an initial demand of 3-5 cohorts per annum with between 8-10 students per cohort.


2.Core Information


Course title: Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)

Target award: Level 6 Undergraduate Certificate of Achievement

Interim or exit awards: N/A


Awarding body: University of Sunderland

Course Assessment Board: Corporate and Work Based Learning


QAA subject benchmark(s) applicable: N/A


Accrediting body / bodies (if applicable): N/A


Collaborative partners and models of collaboration: N/A

Location(s) at which programme is delivered: Various – on campus and at organisational premises throughout the UK




Tick all that apply

Min number of years

Max number of years

Intake dates (months)

Any other issues































Distance learning






Work-based learning


6 months

18 months

















a)Short Course definition by module


Module Code

Module Title

Credit Value

Core/ Option


Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)








b)Indicative delivery structure


The short course will contain 1 module and the taught component will be delivered over a 5-day period. Students will then return to the workplace to apply their learning and complete a competency-based portfolio.






Specialist Interviewers – Skills, knowledge, roles, responsibilities and practicalities. Planning, conducting and evaluating interviews in serious, complex and major investigations.

40 hours

Various – taught sessions


Work-based practice, portfolio completion and research and completion of assignment

160 hours

Within 12 months of completion of session 1








4.Aims, objectives and learning outcomes to be achieved.


The aim of the course is to develop the ability of an interviewer to plan, conduct and evaluate interviews with suspects in serious, complex or major investigations.





Upon successful completion of this short course students will have demonstrated the ability to:




S1.Plan, conduct and evaluate interviews with suspects in serious, complex or major investigations




K1.Define the contemporary issues affecting suspect investigative interviews

K2.Critically reflect upon their own performance in the workplace and demonstrate awareness of work-based action planning



5.Student Experience


The module consists of a combination of presentations, facilitated discussions and practical exercises. Small and large group discussions will be used to facilitate the ethos of teamwork and enhance communication and presentation skills.


Scheduled learning and teaching activities includes:


  1. Presentations
  2. Formative assessment activities
  3. Group discussion
  4. Group work
  5. Tutorials


Independent study (guided learning which is not directly supervised) – all the study activity that is not covered above, including:


  1. Private study
  2. Preparation of/for assessments
  3. Problem-based learning (students identifying gaps in their knowledge and skills and defining ways to bridge the gaps with new knowledge, understanding and behaviour)
  4. Work-based learning (drawing on experiences in the workplace)


The assessment for this short course is:


  • Essay
  • Portfolio


The assessment criteria are the University’s generic undergraduate assessment criteria (see Appendix).


All students will be fully supported by the Programme Lead and the Corporate and Professional Education team at UoS. Students will be given a tutorial in the use of Canvas and the library services as part of the short course.


The course tutor/lecturer will offer one to one tutorial sessions via web/video conferencing facilities (e.g. Skype/Facetime etc) to students. A one-hour allocated time slot will be available for students who wish to take this opportunity.


Students wishing to apply for extenuating circumstances will follow UoS policy, and detailed guidance regarding this process will be included within the student handbook.





a) Module descriptors


The following pages provide a detailed insight into how the short course will be delivered and assessed.


Module descriptors


TITLE:Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)




FACULTY:Business, Law and Tourism

MODULE BOARD:Corporate and Work Based Learning







Upon successful completion of this short course students will have demonstrated the ability to:




S1.Plan, conduct and evaluate interviews with suspects in serious, complex or major investigations




K1.Define the contemporary issues affecting suspect investigative interviews

K2.Critically reflect upon their own performance in the workplace and demonstrate awareness of work-based action planning





This module is focused on planning, conducting and evaluating suspect interviews for serious, complex and major investigations. A flexible learning approach will be adopted to assist in the development of specific knowledge relating to the way that investigative interviews are conducted. Students will consider the elements required for planning for the interview including the analysis of information and the formulation of a written interview plan. Students will explore the relevant factors necessary to conduct an effective interview including engaging with the suspect and utilising appropriate interviewing techniques. Students will also explore the post-interview procedures and ways of evaluating the interview in respect of the overall investigation and also their own performance. They will also explore the practicalities of the role and others with whom they will need to engage during the interview process.


Students will reflect upon and explore personal experiences from their workplace practice and investigation case studies in order to consider how they can develop practice. Students will be introduced to structures designed to support the interviewing process and will explore how to use relevant material in support of the development of the interview plan. Students will also explore the value of effectively planning, conducting and evaluating investigative interviews with subjects in investigations in order to maximise the quality and quantity of information obtained.


Presentations from practitioner experts, discussions with peers and practical exercises will enable students to develop ideas about their own practice allowing them to draw on and develop existing theoretical and practical knowledge in order to link the module content to their professional practice. Directed and independent study will focus on developing skills, knowledge, reflection and lifelong learning.




  • Role and responsibilities of the Specialist Interviewer
  • Structure of an interview
  • Role of others at an interview
  • Planning tools
  • Interviewing techniques and questioning style
  • Challenging suspect accounts
  • Evaluating investigative material




This module will provide students with the opportunity to develop the following transferrable skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Inter-professional and team working skills
  • Self-management and lifelong learning skills
  • IT and literature search skills
  • Reflective skills
  • Linking theory to practice





Scheduled activities

Directed and independent study

Work-based learning

Total hours









Pre-course and post-course reading and activities


Independent study


Work-based learning drawing on experience from the workplace



Classroom based delivery –presentations, discussions, case study exercises


Directed reading and study, problem-based learning


Gathering evidence and completion of portfolio























Required For KIS return to HESA




% of module assessment weighting




Pass Mark


Written exam – central timetable

(% of the element)


Written exam – local timetable

(% of the element)


(% of the element)


(% of the element)






















1500 word essay















Portfolio of evidence













Assessment 001


Students will produce a 1,500 word essay (guide) reflecting on an investigative interview they have planned, conducted and evaluated and will analyse:


a)    A contemporary issue that they identified that is relevant to investigative interviewing in their workplace. They will draw on relevant academic and work-based literature to critically explore the issue and apply the learning to their own practice. Students will reflect on their own role and responsibilities, how the issue is relevant to their practice and their own professional development.

Students may wish to consider any of the following or an issue of their own choice:


  • The way in which rapport was managed in the interview. Students will explore how rapport is developed and maintained in a suspect interview and will consider the reasons for building rapport. Students explore the definition of rapport, at what stage(s) of an interview it is implemented (and with whom) and the purpose of it.  Students will draw on academic literature to identify how rapport is built generally and will then apply it specifically to suspect interviews. By considering their own experiences students will discuss what elements of rapport are relevant in suspect interviewing.
  • How they managed conflict within the management process of the interviews. They will consider the type of conflict they were faced with and what may have caused that conflict. They will consider how they managed the conflict in that situation and the type of strategies they employed. They will draw on relevant literature to consider what other conflict management strategies are available and how they may have been utilised in this situation. They will analyse and assess the effectiveness of their conflict resolution style in their role as a specialist interviewer and identify any learning opportunities
  • Their professional development as a specialist interviewer. They will consider issues of professional identity and self-efficacy and identify strategies for developing self-efficacy as a specialist interviewer



To meet learning outcomes: K1 and K2


40% weighting of total mark


Assessment 002


Students will complete a portfolio of evidence relating to at least 2 interview processes that they have planned, conducted and evaluated. Students will include evidence of planning the interview process including liaison with others, completing an interview plan, and analysing and assessing relevant investigative material. Students will also include evidence of conducting the interview including managing behaviour and dealing with contingencies. Students will also provide evidence of managing post-interview processes and will complete a personal development plan to support their ongoing development.


To meet learning outcomes: S1 and K2


60% weighting of total mark


The assessment criteria for the written assessment will be the University’s generic Undergraduate assessment criteria.


MyModuleResources List link.


Reading List


Bolton, G. (2014). Reflective practice: writing and professional development (4th Edition). London: SAGE

Kovacs, L. & Corrie, S. (2017). Building reflective capability to enhance coaching practice. The Coaching Psychologist, 13(1), 4-12

Moon, J. (2005). A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. [Online]. Routledge. Available from:

Wain, A. (2017). Learning Through Reflection. British Journal of Midwifery, 25(10), 662-666

Alison, L. & Crego, J. (2011). Policing Critical Incidents: Leadership and critical incident management. London: Routledge

Cook, T. & Tattershall, A. (2014). Senior Investigating Officers' Handbook (Third Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Djikstra, M., Beersma, B. & Evers, A. (2011). Reducing conflict-related employee strain: The benefits of an internal locus of control and a problem solving conflict management strategy. Work & Stress, 25(2), 167-184

Fahsing, I. & Ask, K. (2013). Decision-Making and Decisional Tipping Points in Homicide Investigations: An interview study of british and Norweigan Detectives. Journal of Investigative Psychology & Offender Profiling, 10, 155-165

Jaiswal, B. & Srivastava, P. (2013). The effect of Transactional Analysis Ego States on Conflict Management Styles. The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, VII(2), 7-12

Moeller, C. & Kwantes, C.T. (2015). Too much of a good thing? Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Conflict Behaviours. The Journal of Social Psychology, 155, 314-324




Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)


Is the programme delivered On Campus or Off Campus:


Either On Campus or Off Campus


College(s): N/A


Work based learning: Yes


Professional Accreditation: No


Module Leader: Emma Spooner


Lead Deliverer: Emma Spooner


JACS Code: N290





The assessment for this short course is split into two pieces of work. Firstly, a reflective essay examining a contemporary issue encountered during an investigative interview in the workplace and its impact on the student’s workplace practice. Secondly, a professional portfolio of evidence demonstrating an ability to plan, conduct and evaluate an investigative interview in a serious, complex or major investigation. For further details see Section 6 (Module Descriptor). The assessment criteria are the University’s generic Undergraduate assessment criteria (see Appendix 3).



8.Student Support and Guidance


The course tutor/lecturer will meet all students as a group to establish their understanding of the need to actively engage with the specific learning outcomes required for learning across the short course. Once established, the course tutor/lecturer will maintain regular contact with the cohort throughout and following the module attendance. Students will be advised that any major concerns about the short course can be raised with the short course leader and a resolution to any perceived problems will be found as soon as possible.


The face-to-face meetings will serve as a means of defining the cohort in terms of social identity and specific educational needs within the cohort specifically and the University generally. Education as a social activity will underpin the ethos of the whole course, with social interaction an embedded yet palpable part of the academic curriculum. Networking and sharing ideas about best practice and practice development between practitioners/peers is a very important benefit of the short course.


9.Admissions Criteria


PIP2 investigators (or equivalent) with relevant investigative interview experience.


10.Learning Environment and Resources


a)Programme delivery will be either on campus or externally on organisational premises, no specialist equipment or resources required

b)   Staffing provided by programme lead under Corporate and Professional Education (CaPE) supplemented by use of academic tutors with appropriate work-based skills/experience in investigative interviewing. Staff from CaPE will assist with module administration and VLE and Canvas queries.


11.Programme and Quality Management


The short course is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes.


Short courses are overseen by a studies board in the appropriate academic area and each year each short course leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the short course, identifying strengths and areas for development.


The Corporate and WBL Board, which includes short course leaders, student representatives and, where applicable, typical employers, is responsible for the course as a whole, ensuring the coherence of the course overall, its currency, progression, and alignment between the learning outcomes and modes of teaching, learning and assessment.


Student achievement is kept under review so that students may be best supported in maximizing their potential.


The short course is reviewed annually and a report is sent to the Programme Studies Board that in turn reports issues to Academic Board via the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC) and SDAG.


External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the short course. They verify the comparability of the standards of the modular content with the standards of similar short courses elsewhere in the UK and the quality of the assessment process. They are also invited to comment on proposed developments to the short course. Their reports are sent to the DVC (Academic) as well as to the Faculty; they require a report from the Faculty on any major issues of concern raised by the external examiner.


All short courses and programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. This short course would also be revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK HEI.


Students’ views are sought through short course questionnaires. The feedback informs short course leaders’ annual reports on their short courses.




Standard University Undergraduate regulations apply.





(Form to be completed electronically by the Faculty and forwarded to the Quality Support Officer supporting the Approval event, or sent to Planning & MI for faculty devolved processes before sending to Quality Support (with the exception of Short Courses and GRS))

This form is to be completed when a new programme has been validated and approved so that the programme codes and progression and awards rules can be set up in SITS.  This also needs to be completed at periodic course review when there have been significant modifications to the course.


Please note that all details entered onto this form will go onto every student’s record that is attached to this programme and it is therefore imperative that the information is correct. 


1 Programme Details

New/ Modification/Review:

Please ensure the minor modification document is included


Full Programme Title:

Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)


If replacement for existing course, specify title and course code:


Qualification Aim:

e.g. Foundation degree of Science, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Undergraduate Certificate of Achievement

Qualification Level (NQF level):


JACS 3.0 code

JACS code = e.g. (V100) History, (I100) Computing Science, etc. See HESA Website


Is the programme Open or Closed:

A course is defined as closed when specifically designed for a certain group of people and not also available to other suitably qualified candidates. It may be designed for a particular company however if the same course is also run for other suitably qualified candidates, not employed by the company, then the course is not closed.


Faculty and School:

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism

Sunderland Business School

Location of study:

e.g. SAGE, Sunderland in London, Sunderland

Sunderland and organisation premises

Last Date Registration (PBI) Number of days:

The number of days after the start date of the course that it is possible for students to register onto it. It is also referred to as the migration date.


Programme Leader:

Emma Spooner

Academic Team for the programme:

Corporate and work based learning

Date of Approval/Modification/Review:

May 2018

Date of next review (QS to complete):


Accrediting Body or PSRB
If yes please attach completed form AQH-Ciii2



Programme Specific Regulations

If yes, please attach completed form AQH-B3 Appendix 2 or AQH-B8.



Does this programme come under the Key Information Set return?

If yes, please attach a completed KIS form


Is this an undergraduate programme whose primary (but not necessarily only) purpose is to improve the effectiveness of practitioners registered with a professional body? If yes, please specify which body:,2014/Content/Pubs/2016/201622/HEFCE2016_22.pdf  (Page 88, paragraph f)

e.g. a short course aimed at registered nurses


Professional Body:



Interim  Awards

If a student does not achieve their qualification aim, what lower awards might they be entitled to, assuming they have the credits?  The subject title for any lower level award should be given where this is different from the subject of the qualification aim.


Interim Award Title

Credits Required

Interim Structure

Please show mandatory requirements if applicable e.g. core module codes














Combined Subjects Programmes only

Will the subject run as Major/Minor/Dual:


Any subject(s) not permitted to be combined with this subject:










2 Mode Of Attendance

01                          Full-time

Full-time students are those expected to study for more than 24 weeks per year, for a minimum of 21 hours per week and are paying the full-time fee.


02                          Other Full-time

Students who attend full-time for a period less than 24 weeks per year



Students who are expected to study for less than 21 hours per week.

31Part-time at Full-time Rate

Students who are studying full-time credits over part-time attendance




3 Admissions

An admissions or MCR code will be created to allow student applications.

Tick appropriate


Universities and Colleges Admission Services

Required for full-time undergraduate programmes only.


DDirect Entry

Required for FT, PT, PG and PGR, only where students will be admitted though the admissions teams or where the programme needs to be advertised on the web



Graduate Teacher Training Registry

Education only, where applicable




4Collaborative Provision






Collaborative Model

Funding Arrangements










5aCourse Block

Full-time - Overall length of the programme in months:


Part-time - Overall length of the programme in months:

6 months

Does this course offer a sandwich placement?

If yes, please indicate which programme year this placement is to take place.


Programme Year:

Is this compulsory or optional?


Does this course offer a study abroad year out? If yes, please indicate which programme year this placement is to take place.


Programme Year:

Is this compulsory or optional?





6   Major Source of Funding

Please note this relates to funding for the programme and not individual students


Higher Education Funding Council for England


Skills Funding Agency/EFA/Degree Apprenticeship



National College for Teaching and Leadership


Wholly NHS Funded

Partially NHS Funded

Departments of Health/NHS/Social Care. For all Health funded programmes please indicate whether the programme is eligible for an NHS Bursary

-  Eligible for NHS BursaryY/N




Standard Fee

If no then the Learning Resources Form should be attached


Other Funding:

– Please Specify: Student and organisation





7   Education Programmes Only

This section must be completed for any programmes marked above as ‘NCTL’ funded

Teacher Training Identifier:


Teacher Training Scope:


Qualification Aim:

QTS and academic award, QTS only, QTS by assessment only




   DETAILS SUPPLIED BY:Ian Carr    DATE:06/03/2018



Module List

Award, Route (if applicable) and Level

New/Existing/ Modified  Module (N/E/MM)

Module Title

Module Code

Module Credit Value

Whether core or option

Must choose (ie designated option):

Assessment weighting – give % weight for each assessment item


Module leader

Other comment (if required)

Date of Entry on SITS.

N/MM only

( After event)


Academic Team



Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)





Essay 40% Portfolio 60%


Emma Spooner




Corporate and work based learning









































































































































































































Appendix 2

Matrix of modes of teaching, learning and assessment



Stage 1




Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment








Specialist Suspect Interviewers Course (Level 6)



Lectures, private study, group workshops

Essay and Portfolio


































Appendix 3
































Quality Handbook



Programme Specific Regulation/s


PART A – not to be included in programme Specification




Programme Award and Title:


Programme Leader:


Rationale for attached Programme Specific regulation:


Approval Process - as part of a university event





Considered by the Programme Studies Board:



Approved by Faculty Academic Committee:




Programme Leader attach PART B only as appendix to the Programme Specification in event documentation and also send this complete form to Quality Support




Quality Support send to DVC (Academic)




Approved by  DVC, on behalf of Academic Board




Quality Support checked ;

a)       copy of document returned to faculty

b)       copy of document kept on file

c)       copy sent to Quality Management Sub-Committee QMSC for note








Approval Process - when not part of a university event





Chair of Programme Studies Board



Approval of Faculty Quality Management Sub Committee



Document sent to Quality Support by Programme Leader



Quality Support send to DVC (Academic)



Approved by DVC, on behalf of Academic Board




Quality Support checked ;

d)      copy of document returned to faculty

e)       copy of document kept on QAE Programme regulations file

f)        copy sent to QMSC for note







Faculty attach PART B only as appendix  2 to Programme Specification




PART B   -  Programme  Regulation/s - NA


Name of programme:

Title of final award:

Interim awards[1]:



University Regulation


Regulations apply to students commencing their studies from (please state the date / intake that these regulations will apply to students for each Stage):


Regulations apply to students

Date the regulations apply

Intakes affected

Stage 1



Stage 2



Stage 3



Stage 4







[1] Same as main award unless agreed otherwise at validation – eg to meet PSRB requirements