Unit of competency details

CPPSEC3026A - Work effectively in investigative services (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CPPINV3026 - Work effectively in investigative servicesSupersedes and equivalent to CPPSEC3026A Work effectively in the investigative services industry. 29/Sep/2019

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 07/Apr/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091105 Police Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091105 Police Studies  25/Nov/2008 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to work in the investigative services sector. It requires the ability to interpret and comply with legal and procedural requirements, organise and complete daily work activities, and identify opportunities for professional development. It also requires use of methods for improving own knowledge base and maintaining a professional approach in carrying out investigations.

This unit may form part of the licensing requirements for persons engaged in investigative work in those states and territories where these are regulated activities.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency has wide application in a range of work roles in investigative services. Work is performed under limited supervision and competency requires some judgement and decision-making. The knowledge and skills described in this unit are to be applied within relevant legislative guidelines.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Interpret and comply with legal and procedural requirements .

1.1 The range of legislative and procedural requirements  relevant to investigative services are identified and complied with.

1.2 Assignment instructions  are reviewed to interpret legal and procedural compliance requirements.

1.3 Personal limitations  in completing assignment instructions are identified and assistance sought as required from relevant persons .

1.4 Own work performance and conduct  demonstrates a commitment to compliance with applicable legislative and client requirements.

Model high standards of performance .

2.1 Investigative tasks  are organised and completed within designated timeframes.

2.2 Factors  affecting the achievement of work tasks are promptly identified and corrective actions implemented in consultation with relevant persons.

2.3 Trust and confidence of clients and colleagues is gained and maintained through demonstration of high standards of investigative services.

2.4 Breaches of industry codes of ethics or practices are identified and reported to relevant persons.

Develop and maintain investigative competence .

3.1 Feedback  is used to identify and develop ways to improve own competence in providing investigative services.

3.2 Personal knowledge and skills are assessed against occupational competency standards and other relevant benchmarks  to determine professional development needs and priorities.

3.3 Opportunities for professional development  are identified, planned and implemented to improve own competence level.

3.4 Professional networks  are participated in to identify and build relationships and improve personal knowledge of investigative practices, technologies and trends.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • basic risk assessment
  • communicate in a clear and concise manner in both written and verbal modes
  • complete workplace documentation in a legally appropriate manner
  • driving and navigation
  • numeracy skills to estimate time to complete activities and prioritise tasks
  • observation
  • personal skills to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and varying physical and mental abilities
  • planning and prioritising work tasks
  • questioning to confirm legal issues and procedures associated with job specifications
  • questioning to confirm technical issues associated with work tasks or equipment
  • request advice, support or further information
  • research
  • seek and receive feedback on performance and areas requiring improvement
  • self reflection to identify skill improvement needs
  • source, organise and record information
  • use and interpret maps and street directories
  • use business equipment and technology to plan tasks and complete reports
  • work on an individual basis and as part of a team.

Required knowledge 

  • evidence management principles
  • legal requirements relating to a range of investigative services
  • legislative restrictions on the use of recording devices
  • limits of own responsibilities and authority to undertake investigations
  • range of investigative client services
  • range of professional networks for investigative services
  • reporting requirements for investigative work
  • surveillance equipment, techniques and listening devices
  • techniques for factual investigation
  • terms and conditions of own employment
  • types and uses of information gathering equipment
  • types and uses of investigative equipment.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of:

  • accessing, interpreting and complying with a range of legislative and procedural requirements relevant to the provision of investigative services
  • using information technology to organise, prioritise and complete work tasks within designated timeframes
  • communicating with relevant persons to facilitate information exchange and safety, and reporting personal limitations in the conduct and completion of investigative tasks
  • using feedback and professional networks to identify and access applicable learning opportunities to enhance own investigative skills and expertise.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment includes:

  • a setting in the workplace or environment that simulates the conditions of performance described in the elements, performance criteria and range statement.

Resource implications for assessment include:

  • access to a registered provider of assessment services
  • access to a suitable venue and equipment
  • access to plain English version of relevant statutes and procedures
  • assessment instruments including personal planner and assessment record book
  • work schedules, organisational policies and duty statements.

Reasonable adjustments must be made to assessment processes where required for people with disabilities. This could include access to modified equipment and other physical resources, and the provision of appropriate assessment support.

Method of assessment 

This unit of competency should be assessed using questioning of underpinning knowledge and skills.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and suitable to the language, literacy and numeracy capacity of the candidate and the competency being assessed. In all cases where practical assessment is used, it should be combined with targeted questioning to assess the underpinning knowledge.

Oral questioning or written assessment may be used to assess underpinning knowledge. In assessment situations where the candidate is offered a choice between oral questioning and written assessment, questions are to be identical.

Supplementary evidence may be obtained from relevant authenticated correspondence from existing supervisors, team leaders or specialist training staff.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Legislative and procedural requirements may relate to :

  • applicable commonwealth, state and territory legislation which affects investigative work such as:
  • insurance contracts act
  • workplace safety
  • environmental issues
  • equal employment opportunity
  • industrial relations
  • anti-discrimination and diversity
  • Australian standards and quality assurance
  • authority to conduct investigation
  • award and enterprise agreements
  • evidence collection
  • freedom of information
  • licensing arrangements and certification requirements
  • privacy requirements
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • restrictions in the use of recording devices
  • surveillance and listening devices.

Assignment instructions may relate to :

  • assignment objectives and timeframes
  • back-up support
  • client identification and information details
  • communication equipment and procedures
  • instructions from client, supervisor or colleagues
  • legislative requirements relating to work tasks
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) including use of personal protective equipment
  • preferred investigative methods
  • resource and equipment needs
  • site layout including access points
  • use of force
  • use of workplace documentation
  • verbal and non-verbal reporting
  • work schedules including budget
  • work tasks and procedures.

Personal limitations may relate to :

  • being unsure of best method to complete task
  • compliance with OHS requirements
  • current competence level
  • difficulties in meeting timelines
  • inability to fulfil own role and responsibilities
  • licensing requirements
  • technical expertise
  • understanding of assignment instructions
  • understanding of legal requirements.

Relevant persons may include :

  • clients
  • colleagues
  • legal representatives
  • police
  • specialist investigators
  • supervisor
  • workplace trainer or mentor.

Work performance and conduct may relate to :

  • code of conduct and ethics
  • professionalism
  • use of initiative to improve own performance
  • use of initiative to update knowledge-base and information related to work tasks and security issues
  • use of interpersonal skills and communication skills which show respect for individual cultural and social differences and the principles of access and equity.

Investigative tasks may relate to :

  • conducting interviews and taking statements
  • evaluating evidence and information
  • gathering factual information
  • mobile and static monitoring of persons or property
  • surveillance by foot or vehicle
  • use of information gathering equipment
  • use of specialist surveillance equipment.

Factors may include :

  • budget constraints
  • competing work demands
  • environmental factors (time, weather)
  • lack of back-up support
  • limits defined through common law, contract law or statutes which apply to the nature of the work being performed
  • limits described in job specifications, policies and procedures
  • non-availability of resources or materials
  • own competency level
  • technology or equipment faults
  • unforeseen incidents
  • unforeseen incidents
  • workplace hazards, risks or controls.

Feedback may be sought from :

  • comments from supervisor, colleagues, trainer or clients
  • formal or informal performance appraisals
  • personal reflection
  • workplace assessment.

Competency standards and other relevant benchmarks may relate to :

  • client standards
  • codes
  • industry codes of conduct and ethics
  • licensing requirements
  • occupational or functional roles
  • other relevant industry, cross-industry and enterprise units of competency
  • professional accreditation and re-accreditation requirements
  • professional bodies' competencies and codes of practice or ethics
  • quality assurance standards for investigative work
  • regulations
  • statutory and legislative requirements in terms of qualification levels and investigation practices
  • units of competency relevant to investigations work.

Opportunities for professional development may include :

  • career planning or development
  • internal or external training provision
  • participating in formal or informal learning programs
  • performance appraisals
  • personal study
  • quality assurance assessments and recommendations
  • Recognition of Prior Learning assessment
  • work experience or exchange opportunities
  • workplace coaching, mentoring or supervision
  • workplace skills assessment.

Professional networks may relate to :

  • government agencies
  • industry peak bodies
  • national and international professional or occupational associations
  • project specific and ad hoc consultative or reference groups
  • regional associations
  • relevant committees and reference groups
  • specific interest or support groups
  • suppliers
  • tertiary and vocational education providers
  • work team.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Investigative services