Unit of competency details

DEFCM127A - Conduct a Defence administrative inquiry (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to DEFLAW008 - Conduct a Defence administrative inquiryModifications made to Assessment Conditions. 21/Oct/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 24/Jan/2013
(View details for release 1) 15/Mar/2012


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091199 Justice And Law Enforcement, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091199 Justice And Law Enforcement, N.e.c.  03/Sep/2012 
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Modification History


TP Version 




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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to conduct administrative inquiries under the inherent authority of commanders and under the Defence (Inquiry) Regulations.

Application of the Unit

This unit has application to warrant officers and officers of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and some civilian staff of the Australian Defence Organisation.

Staff may be appointed to conduct administrative inquiries to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding an incident or situation so that an informed decision may be taken about the action required including, where appropriate, action to avoid a recurrence.

The type of inquiry conducted will be dependent on the level of authority, rank or position.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

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 and/or the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare to conduct an inquiry 

1.1 Appointment as inquiry  officer is received from appointing authority  and is acknowledged in accordance with organisational policies and procedures .

1.2 Inquiry circumstances are analysed and discussed, if necessary, with the appointing authority.

1.3 Independence  is confirmed and acknowledged in accordance with organisational policy.

1.4 Appropriate Defence publications  are referred to, to determine the appropriate course of action.

2. Plan an inquiry 

2.1 Inquiry Terms of Reference are identified, analysed and clarified in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

2.2 Inquiry plan  is developed in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

2.3 Advice is sought , where appropriate, in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

3. Gather and analyse evidence 

3.1 Evidence is identified and acquired in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

3.2 Interviews  are conducted in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

3.3 Evidence is confirmed and analysed in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

3.4 Progress reports are provided in accordance with the Terms of Reference and appointing authority requirements.

3.5 Inquiry is suspended (in the particular area) and appointing authority is notified when Defence Force Discipline Act (DFDA) offence or other notifiable incident is suspected, in accordance with organisational policies.

4. Present inquiry findings 

4.1 Conclusions and recommendations  are made on the basis of the analysis of the evidence.

4.2 Inquiry findings  are presented in accordance with the Terms of Reference and appointing authority requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required Skills 

  • analyse evidence
  • communicate ideas, arguments and conclusions logically
  • conduct interviews
  • interpret policies
  • prepare complex documents
  • undertake required tasks with objectivity and impartiality
  • use appropriate legal terminology

Required Knowledge 

  • Defence (Inquiry) Regulations
  • inquiry processes
  • interview techniques
  • relevant Defence publications
  • relevant legislation
  • relevant organisational policies and procedures
  • scope of authority of an investigating officer undertaking an administrative inquiry

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

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

Assessment must confirm the ability to:

  • identify the issues surrounding the inquiry
  • adhere to the Terms of Reference
  • analyse evidence to form conclusions and recommendations

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated in a range of actual or simulated inquiry contexts.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace environment conducting an inquiry.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access is required to:

  • documentation and resources normally found in the work environment and required to allow the inquiry to be properly performed
  • 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 in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

    Inquiry  may include:

    • CDF Commission/Board of inquiry
    • General court of inquiry
    • IG-ADF inquiry
    • Inquiry officer inquiry
    • Routine inquiry

    Appointing authority  may include:

    • commanders
    • commanding officers

    Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

    • conventions including those covered by:
    • ADFP 06.1.4
    • Defence Act, Naval Defence Act, Air Force Act
    • DFDA
    • Defence (Inquiry) Regulations
    • legislation

    Independence  may include:

    • confirming lack of bias or declaring bias
    • confirming lack of conflict of interest or declaring conflict of interest

    Appropriate Defence publications  may include:

    • Australian Defence Force Publication 06.1.4

    Inquiry plan  may include:

    • allegations
    • chronology of events
    • itinerary
    • list of evidence considered relevant
    • list of issues requiring resolution
    • list of preliminary questions for key witnesses
    • list of witnesses to be interviewed

    Advice is sought  from:

    • Complaint Resolution Agency
    • Defence Equity Organisation
    • Defence legal service legal officer
    • specialist personnel with experience relevant to the topic of investigation

    Interviews  may include:

    • advising witnesses of their rights and obligations
    • advising witnesses that no guarantee of confidentiality can be given and that disclosure may occur (but not in contravention of the privacy act)
    • applying fair hearing rules and no bias rule
    • producing written transcripts and inquiry officer notes
    • recording interviews by audio or visual means

    Conclusions and recommendations  only include those:

    • based on the evidence gathered
    • within the boundaries of the terms of reference

    Inquiry findings  may:

    • be in the form of a written report
    • have time constraints imposed

    Unit Sector(s)

    Not applicable.