Southeastern – Human performance for Investigators

Client Brief

An area for Southeastern development which has impacts throughout the organisation are investigations. During 2016, the senior management had noted that their investigations, whilst technically competent, often lacked Human Performance and wider Organisational learning outcomes. They commissioned PPWD to design and deliver a Human Performance for Investigators course.

What We Did

It was important that the course complemented current SE investigation process, procedures and policy. Therefore, its focus was on shifting the culture from being ‘Person’ centric to one which encompassed the ‘System’. This cultural shift also formed part of the moves to establish a Just and Fair Safety Culture with Southeastern.

PPWD looked at where HP in investigations is regarded as having best practice. The aviation industry is widely regarded as leading in this area and 3 PPWD facilitators with previous RAF investigation experience, attended the Cranfield Investigating Human Performance Course.  

PPWD then designed a course pulling best practice from a number of areas. The work of Sidney Dekker proved foundational and the ideas of making sense of incidents from the participants point of view became fundamental in shifting the ideas of ‘blame’ to ones of causal and contributory factors. 


The course has been extremely well received by Southeastern investigators, with particular impact on their ability to make ‘sense’ of incidents from the participants point of view. A reduction in hindsight bias and ‘blame’, has altered the reports, such that causal factors and more importantly recommendations which reach deep into the organisation are now starting to have an effect Southeastern wide.

"Excellent course. It was a good exercise they chose as was up to date and had numerous elements that could distract from the real conclusions. Really made you think, Presented in a great way which was not full of jargon and irrelevant information and it linked in well with the 3 day NTS course.  I really feel it will now make me look deeper into investigations and also have the confidence to make challenging recommendations in the future." "Some very different ideas/approaches to Investigations where delivered by PPWD. Indeed, it is always a benefit to have new Interview techniques introduced which may prove helpful or suitable for certain individuals/investigations."

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