Unit of competency details

CPPSEC3032A - Gather information by factual investigation (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CPPINV3030 - Conduct factual investigationsSupersedes and equivalent to CPPSEC3032A Gather information by factual investigation. 29/Sep/2019

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 09/Feb/2011

Training packages that include this unit


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 gather oral, written and electronic information for the carriage of investigation tasks. It requires the ability to plan and carry out factual information gathering activities, analyse and verify information, and present clear and accurate recommendations.

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 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



Prepare for investigative activities .

1.1 Client and legislative requirements  relevant to conducting and investigation and related information are identified and complied with.

1.2 Assignment instructions  are obtained, reviewed and clarified as required with relevant persons .

1.3 Resource and equipment  requirements including technical specialists  are confirmed and organised.

1.5 Information sources and systems  are reliable and used in accordance with assignment objectives.

1.6 A plan detailing key activities and their sequence is developed taking into consideration all known factors, client instructions and legal requirements.

1.7 Research and preliminary inquiries are carried out to gather information and evidence  in accordance with legislative requirements.

Gather information .

2.1 Methods  used for collecting information are valid and reliable and make efficient use of resources.

2.2 Interviews and meetings are conducted using effective communication skills  and interpersonal techniques  and demonstrating sensitivity to individual social and cultural differences .

2.3 Comprehensive statements are taken and physical evidence collected to support available facts  in accordance with legislative requirements.

2.4 Information is assessed for relevance and accuracy and additional information sought as required from identified sources.

2.5 Gathered information is prioritised and organised in a logical manner with regard to continuity of evidence.

Report information .

3.1 Report is prepared presenting all relevant facts and observations in appropriate format .

3.2 Content is evaluated in terms of validity, reliability and relevance in consultation with relevant persons.

3.3 Client satisfaction with service delivery is reviewed using verifiable data and feedback and recommendations for improvement to service identified.

3.4 All investigative information and records are securely maintained with due regard to confidentiality.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • accurately record, report and document information and evidence
  • analysis
  • communicate using appropriate channels and communication modes
  • diagramming
  • identify and comply with applicable legal and procedural requirements, including licensing requirements, relevant to investigative activities
  • illustration
  • image compilation
  • information technology
  • interpret and follow instructions and procedures
  • literacy skills to understand and communicate information (reading, writing, speaking, numeracy and listening)
  • organise equipment and resource requirements
  • plan and conduct meetings and interviews
  • problem solving and negotiation
  • questioning to check understanding
  • reconstruction of facts
  • relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and of varying physical and mental abilities
  • research
  • risk assessment.

Required knowledge 

  • applicable licensing and legal requirements relevant to investigative activities
  • basic investigation techniques
  • communication channels and modes
  • evidence management principles
  • factual information gathering 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
  • interviewing, reviewing and debriefing processes
  • legislative requirements applicable to the conduct and reporting of investigations
  • legislative restrictions on the use of recording devices
  • principles of effective communication including interpersonal techniques
  • reliable and verifiable sources of information
  • reliable sources and methods for collecting information
  • reporting and documentation requirements
  • requirements for continuity of evidence.

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:

  • using reliable sources and methods to gather information that is factual, lawful and relevant to the investigation in compliance with legislative and client requirements
  • conducting interviews and meetings using appropriate interpersonal techniques and communication skills, and taking accurate and complete contemporaneous notes and statements
  • evaluating and presenting gathered information in an appropriate format within designated timeframes
  • collecting, storing and maintaining evidence in accordance with evidence management principles.

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 plain English version of relevant statutes and procedures
  • access to a registered provider of assessment services
  • access to a suitable venue and equipment
  • 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 could be assessed using the following methods of assessment:

  • observation of processes and procedures
  • 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 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.

Assignment instructions  may include:

  • assignment tasks and procedures
  • assignment timeframe
  • client information
  • investigation purpose and objective
  • methods of investigation
  • reporting and documentation requirements
  • resource and equipment allocations.

Relevant persons may include :

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

Resources and equipment 

  • 35mm and video cameras
  • compass
  • lap-top computer
  • mobile phones, pagers
  • personnel
  • scales
  • scanners (audio, document, computer)
  • tape measures
  • transport
  • voice recorder, transcript recorder
  • writing instruments.

Technical specialists may be :

  • accountants
  • engineers
  • forensic experts
  • information technology experts
  • photographers
  • solicitors, lawyers
  • specialist investigators
  • undercover operatives.

Information sources 

  • colleagues, supervisor, management
  • government departments or agencies
  • industry networks
  • industry specialists
  • internet and other electronic sources
  • interviews and meetings
  • library
  • newspapers and other print media
  • photographs
  • plans, map and schematic drawings
  • police
  • professional bodies
  • records, reports, case notes.

Information systems may depend on :

  • importance of information
  • reliability of information
  • sensitivity of information
  • source or origin of information
  • where information is to be disseminated.

Evidence may be :

  • circumstantial
  • direct
  • documentary
  • hearsay
  • opinion
  • physical.

Methods for collecting information may include :

  • electronic
  • meetings and interviews
  • photograph and filmed evidence
  • pretext inquiries
  • questioning
  • researching public records
  • taking statements
  • testing of rumour
  • undercover operations
  • use of informants.

Communication skills may include :

  • active listening
  • comprehension
  • negotiation
  • note-taking
  • positive body language
  • questioning
  • reading accurately
  • speaking clearly
  • summarising
  • writing.

Interpersonal techniques may include :

  • active listening
  • being respectful and non-discriminatory to others
  • control of tone of voice and body language
  • demonstrating flexibility and willingness to negotiate
  • interpreting non-verbal and verbal messages
  • maintaining professionalism
  • providing and receiving constructive feedback
  • questioning to clarify and confirm understanding
  • two-way communication
  • use of communication appropriate to cultural differences
  • use of positive, confident and cooperative language.

Social and cultural differences may relate to :

  • dress and personal presentation
  • food
  • language
  • religion
  • social conventions
  • traditional practices
  • values and beliefs.

Available facts may relate to :

  • accident reports
  • claims
  • employer accident records
  • machinery reports
  • medical reports
  • personal records
  • personnel records
  • policies
  • travel documents.

Format may relate to :

  • accuracy
  • common industry terminology
  • enclosures and attachments
  • length
  • sequence of coverage
  • style
  • use of abbreviations
  • use of appendices
  • use of plain English.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Investigative services