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Attachment A to Appendix 6

Contacting referees to verify investigator credentials

Checking an investigator's credentials with referees is an important part of the process for choosing an investigator. Questions to ask referees could include

Understanding of the legal and administrative decision-making framework

  • Did you have confidence in the investigator's understanding of the APS misconduct framework and associated administrative law framework?

General abilities

  • Did the employee under investigation challenge the investigator's approach? If so, how did the investigator handle it?
  • Did you have confidence in the investigator's discretion and professionalism?
  • Was the investigation timely and did it represent value for money?

Note: Agencies may have a misconduct matter that requires specialist skills or is particularly complex, for example a case with conflicting evidence and multiple witnesses. This will require more focused questioning of referees about the complexity of the matters the investigator has dealt with.

Procedural matters

  • Did the investigator understand the importance of, and comply with, your agency's s15(3) procedures for investigating suspected misconduct?
  • Did any part of the investigation need to be redone because of a procedural concern with the investigator's approach?
  • Did any problems arise concerning procedural fairness? How was this handled?


  • Did the investigator provide a logical, well-reasoned report?
  • Did you have confidence in the investigator's conclusions and recommendations?
  • Did the investigator deliver the specified services to the required quality and timeliness?
  • Was the process or outcome challenged, for example with an application to the Merit Protection Commissioner, Fair Work Commission, courts or tribunals?
  • What was the outcome of any challenges, including if the matter was settled out of court?
  • Was the outcome or the decision to settle in any way reflective on the role of the investigator?
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018