Unit of competency details

CPPSEC3027A - Develop investigative plan (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CPPINV3027 - Develop investigation plansSupersedes and equivalent to CPPSEC3027A Develop investigative plan. 29/Sep/2019

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 09/Feb/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 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to develop and document an investigative plan. It requires an ability to assess the scope of the investigation, select a preferred investigative method based on client requirements and time, resource and legal parameters, and plan for contingencies in the conduct of the investigation.

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 application in a range of work roles in the investigative services industry. 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 and organisational 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



Identify scope of investigation .

1.1 Assignment instructions  and relevant information  is obtained to review client and legislative requirements .

1.2 Clarification of instructions or further information is sought as required from relevant persons .

1.3 Necessary resources and equipment  are identified and availability checked against assignment instructions and budget.

1.4 Limitations  in conducting investigation are recognised and assistance sought as required from relevant persons.

Determine method of investigation .

2.1 An effective method of investigation  is determined in accordance with assignment instructions, client brief and continuity of evidence requirements.

2.2 Background information  and an assessment of benefits and limitations is conducted to confirm suitability of recommended investigative method.

2.3 Necessary modifications to investigative methods are identified and implemented where practicable based on an assessment of risk.

2.4 Proposed investigative method is discussed and confirmed with client using appropriate communication techniques .

Develop investigation plan .

3.1 Investigation plan is prepared based on assignment instructions, client requirements, and identified investigative methods and resources.

3.2 Plan includes identified sources  and methods for collecting information  which are valid, lawful, reliable and make efficient use of resources.

3.3 Plan incorporates contingency measures to maximise safety of self and others and preserve evidence in line with legislative requirements.

3.4 Investigation plan is recorded and documented using business equipment and technology  and securely maintained with due regard to privacy.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • basic analysis
  • complete workplace documentation and reports
  • evaluate diverse or conflicting pieces of information
  • identify and access relevant information from reliable sources
  • information technology
  • interview skills
  • literacy skills to understand and communicate information (reading, writing, speaking, numeracy and listening)
  • make discretionary decisions
  • numeracy skills to estimate time to complete work tasks and resource requirements
  • personal skills to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and varying physical and mental abilities
  • planning
  • prioritise work tasks and complete activities within designated timeframes
  • problem solving and negotiation
  • questioning to check understanding
  • research
  • risk assessment
  • surveillance.

Required knowledge 

  • basic investigation techniques
  • how to safeguard confidential information
  • how to use business equipment to present information which may be used as evidence
  • information management systems and methods
  • legal and ethical obligations with regard to the gathering and distribution of information
  • legislative requirements applicable to the conduct and reporting of investigations
  • legislative restrictions on the use of recording devices
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) requirements for investigative activities
  • operational principles and capabilities of investigative equipment
  • purpose, benefits and limitations of factual versus surveillance for investigations
  • reliable sources and methods for collecting information
  • requirements for collecting, preserving and presenting evidence
  • requirements for continuity of evidence
  • standards and procedures for client service.

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:

  • planning an investigation to meet client requirements within resource, time and legislative compliance parameters, and incorporating contingency measures to ensure safety and evidence is preserved
  • accurately interpreting assignment instructions and relevant information to enable a full understanding of the scope and objectives of the investigation
  • using reliable information sources and valid information gathering methods to plan investigative activities in compliance with legal requirements
  • using a computer record and document investigation plan and maintaining information with due regard to client confidentiality
  • selecting a preferred investigative method and alternative options based on an assessment of all gathered information, viable investigative techniques and available resources and equipment.

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.

Assignment instructions may include :

  • assignment tasks and procedures
  • client brief and details
  • incident and security risk response procedures
  • investigation purpose and objectives
  • investigation timeframe
  • methods of investigation
  • personal presentation requirements
  • reporting and documentation requirements
  • resource and equipment allocations.

Relevant information may include :

  • acceptable modes of enquiry
  • audio or video recordings
  • cost schedules
  • evidence
  • investigative limitations and exclusions
  • maps, plans or schematics
  • photographs or drawings
  • sources of information and contact requirements
  • summary of case history.

Legislative requirements may relate to :

  • applicable commonwealth, state and territory legislation which affects investigative work such as:
  • 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.

Relevant persons may include :

  • client
  • industry or government representatives
  • police
  • security personnel
  • supervisor or manager
  • technical specialist.

Resources and equipment may include :

  • 35mm camera
  • binoculars
  • computers, computer applications, modems
  • diary, note pads and pens
  • digital imaging equipment
  • e-mail, internet
  • facsimile
  • guise, torch, mirrors
  • measuring tape
  • mobile phone
  • night vision equipment
  • own time management
  • pager
  • personal hygiene aids
  • telephone directories, maps, street directories
  • telephoto lens
  • transcript recorder
  • transport
  • tripod
  • video camera
  • voice recorder.

Limitations may relate to :

  • compliance with safety requirements
  • current competence level
  • difficulties in meeting timelines
  • inability to fulfil own role and responsibilities
  • inadequate information to plan investigation
  • lack of resources
  • licensing requirements
  • technical expertise
  • understanding of assignment instructions
  • understanding of legal requirements.

Method of investigation may be :

  • factual investigation
  • surveillance
  • combination of factual investigation and surveillance.

Communication techniques may involve :

  • active listening
  • being non-judgemental
  • being respectful and non-discriminatory
  • control of tone of voice and body language
  • culturally aware and sensitive use of language and concepts
  • demonstrating flexibility and willingness to negotiate
  • effective verbal and non-verbal communication
  • maintaining professionalism
  • providing and receiving constructive feedback
  • providing sufficient time for questions and responses
  • reflection, summarising and paraphrasing
  • two-way interaction
  • use of plain English
  • use of positive, confident and cooperative language.

Background information may relate to :

  • legislation relating to conduct of surveillance
  • readily accessible information provided by relevant persons
  • requirements for collecting evidence
  • research and preliminary enquiries
  • research of public records
  • use of surveillance equipment
  • verbal details and documents supplied by client.

Sources may include :

  • colleagues, supervisor, manager
  • government departments or agencies
  • industry networks
  • informants
  • internet
  • interviews, meetings
  • library
  • police
  • related records, reports, case notes
  • specialists.

Methods for collecting information may include :

  • advertising
  • electronic
  • interview
  • photographed and filmed evidence
  • pretext inquiries
  • questioning
  • researching public records
  • surveillance
  • testing of rumour
  • undercover operations
  • use of informants.

Business equipment and technology may include :

  • computers and software applications
  • databases
  • email
  • personal schedulers
  • printers.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Investigative services