PDF Effective Decision-making before Commencing Tertiary Education: A Practical Guide with Cases

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Investigators must prioritise the needs of the investigation against the available resources where resources are limited. Expert advisers EA are independent of the police service, but can assist an investigation by using their specialist knowledge and expertise to give an opinion on a particular matter.

Work or Higher Education - Decision Making - Dr V S Jithendra

SOC can also provide further investigative support, for example:. The investigator needs to identify and manage the most appropriate EA to support their investigation. Managing people, including victims and witnesses , is integral to any investigation. There are two components to people management: managing colleagues within the police service, and managing relationships with individuals who may assist the investigation or provide material to the investigation.

Besides victims, witnesses and suspects, they may also include:. This is not a definitive list, nor is it in any particular order of priority. The welfare of all staff should be a primary concern for the police service. Some police officers and staff who deal with unpleasant incidents over a period of time may suffer adverse effects as a result. On an emotional or behavioural level, people react differently to traumatic situations or incidents.

These procedures should apply to all investigations, whether large or small, and to all police officers and police staff. Specific risk assessments may also help police officers and staff to prepare for encountering disturbing images or situations. Types of reaction to trauma usually fall within a defined and normal cluster of responses. These include:. It is important to note that someone who is displaying signs of distress may not necessarily be experiencing a trauma reaction.

The above reactions should be seen as normal and acceptable responses to abnormal and upsetting situations or events. The ability of a person to make an appropriate emotional and behavioural adjustment in the long term depends on the way in which they are managed when experiencing distress or a normal trauma reaction. The welfare of staff involved in serious or long-standing enquiries should be a priority for SIOs when establishing the investigation team.

Force systems and procedures should include compulsory counselling and team briefings and debriefings, or staff screening before their inclusion on investigations which may be particularly traumatic, eg, child deaths. Investigators constantly make decisions about situations, based on incomplete information and in uncertain conditions. All areas of policing are susceptible to the risk of harm.

Using risk assessment tools, eg, impact versus likelihood, could assist the police to assess the level of risk, thereby potentially reducing the amount of harm caused. The charging process also provides quality assurance to the investigation process. To ensure that a focused and good quality investigation takes place, supervisors review each crime and allocate it appropriately, setting and agreeing a clear investigative plan. The supervisor also reviews the crime report to ensure that all positive lines of enquiry have been identified and tasked, to promptly resolve the investigation.

Managing investigations

Regular supervisor checks must also be completed to check the progress of the investigation, offer support to the officer in charge OIC and to ensure that all investigative opportunities are considered and completed. This means that they take responsibility for directing crime investigations and supervising staff effectively and with transparency, in line with local force policy for the duration of workload reviews.

These are designed to support performance improvement in investigations and should underpin effective enquiries at each stage of the investigative process. They should be interdependent with the national intelligence model, to ensure that they support the deployment of appropriate resources to areas of identified priority at the correct time. This is not directly overseen by sergeants and inspectors, and this makes the supervision of frontline officers challenging.

Crime investigation standards are, therefore, useful to monitor and measure the performance of individual investigators and the quality of the investigation.

Evidence-based medicine

The nature and complexity of an investigation, to some extent, dictates the investigative actions that investigators must manage. Most volume crime investigations are conducted by a sole investigator, assisted in varying degrees by crime scene examiners or other specialists. In these cases the investigator has to prioritise their investigative actions, some of which will be evident from the initial attendance to the victim or at the crime scene. Other investigative actions entail developing and completing lines of enquiry, and recording the decision-making process which underpins this action in the crime report or associated documents.

This assists colleagues, supervisors and managers to verify the progress of the investigation and to advise on prioritisation issues to support it. In major or serious criminal investigations, more than one investigator may need to be deployed. These investigations are also likely to generate multiple investigative actions and require the collation of numerous documents. It also provides an overview of the investigation and can be used to record:.

Records are kept in different formats depending on the seriousness and complexity of the crime under investigation. Common formats include:. Auditable decision making enables investigators to recall a particular investigation long after the event has taken place. Access to a record of decisions made at the time of the investigation is more likely to provide accurate and credible information.

If new information subsequently comes to light, the original investigative actions can be reviewed, documents and exhibits can be located and the investigation can progress without delay. Keeping full and accurate records may also reduce the risks of a case collapsing where doubt can be cast on the integrity of the evidence, or there are technical faults in the evidence gathering process.

It also avoids unsafe convictions and the costs involved, as well as negative publicity associated with appeals and re-trials. This refers to the manner in which the responsibility for an investigation passes from one investigator to another. The initial investigator must record the full extent of their actions.

The point of handover should be explicit and documented, and investigators must ensure that all available information about the conduct of the investigation has been fully communicated to any new investigator, and that it is understood by them. When a handover takes place and a new officer is in charge, it is important that the victim s is informed of this. In the majority of volume crime cases, the handover can be recorded on the crime report or associated document.

The initial investigator is also able to communicate to the new investigator any actions that need to be finalised. A full record should be made of the handover process. Policy files should mainly be used to record strategic policy decisions, operational priorities, and strategic, critical and investigative issues. Although these files are not action books, they should be used to document the progress of an investigation.

Policy files are sequentially numbered, bound books. Each entry is signed and dated by the SIO or anyone directed to make an entry.


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Care should be taken when making entries regarding sensitive matters which could be subject to public interest immunity PII. SIOs should anticipate future challenges to their decisions when constructing a policy file. Financial issues and resources are important strategic considerations that should be reflected in the policy file. To avoid a lack of focus, care should be taken to avoid including routine administrative and logistical issues in the policy file.

Individuals with management responsibilities in an investigation can also maintain records. The investigator gathers material in a physical, documentary or biological format. This material is referred to as exhibits and requires collation, examination and storage to maintain its integrity and provenance. The investigator must keep accurate and comprehensive records of all exhibits throughout an investigation. As each exhibit is recovered, a record should be compiled detailing the:.

The continuity of all exhibits must be maintained, and every movement and transfer accurately recorded. If the material is removed from storage for any reason, or transferred, for example, for forensic examination, this should be recorded. The record should detail the reasons for the movement, the name of the person who removed it, when it was removed and to whom it has been transferred.

Advice on recovery, handling and storage of exhibits can be obtained from crime scene investigators, crime scene managers or supervisors. In large-scale enquiries a dedicated exhibits officer may be appointed. They should maintain a close working relationship with the investigating officer to ensure that they are aware of all developments in the investigation and bring significant items to the attention of the investigator at the earliest opportunity.

These include liaising with CSIs and forensic service providers to ensure that the recovery, handling, storage and submission of all relevant exhibits is undertaken, and that the integrity of exhibits is preserved to avoid contamination. They should maintain a close working relationship with the investigating officer to ensure that they are aware of all developments in the investigation.

In large and complex enquiries, records of relevant material are maintained on indexes. Investigators should familiarise themselves with the systems available to them. It is, therefore, essential that investigators identify and prioritise crime scenes, as they may contain material vital to the successful outcome of the investigation. Once investigators have identified a scene or multiple scenes, they should make an initial assessment of its potential to provide material.

The assessment and subsequent formulation of a scene strategy which should include necessary resource allocation should have due regard to forensic strategy considerations. Undue delay or failure to consider forensic issues at this stage may lead to valuable material being contaminated, overlooked or lost. Investigators should be mindful of the impact that securing and managing a scene can have on a community.

They should consider community engagement strategies. CSIs and managers. The extent to which investigators are responsible for managing a crime scene and developing crime scene strategies is influenced by the complexity or seriousness of the investigation and local force policy.

The crime scene can present itself in a number of ways and may not be immediately obvious to the investigator or initial attending officer. Should I change jobs?

Smart Choices: Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions

Go back to school? When should I retire? To do what? Such questions mark the progress of our lives and our careers, and the way we answer them determines, to a large extent, our place in society and in the world. Our success in all the roles we play—student, worker, boss, citizen, spouse, parent, individual— turns on the decisions we make. Some decisions will be fairly obvious—"no-brainers.

Will you accept your in-laws' offer of free use of their Florida beachfront condo? You like your employer and feel ready to move forward in your career. Will you step in for your boss for three weeks while she attends a professional development course? Of course. But the no-brainers are the exceptions. Most of the important decisions you'll face in life are tough and complex, with no easy or obvious solutions. And they probably won't affect you alone. They'll affect your family, your friends, your coworkers, and many others known and unknown.

Making good decisions is thus one of the most important determinants of how well you meet your responsibilities and achieve your personal and professional goals. In short, the ability to make smart choices is a fundamental life skill. Most of us, however, dread making hard decisions. By definition, tough choices have high stakes and serious consequences; they involve numerous and complex considerations; and they expose us to the judgments of others.

The need to make a difficult decision puts us at risk of anxiety, confusion, doubt, error, regret, embarrassment, loss. No wonder we find it hard to settle down and - choose. In living through a major decision, we suffer periods of alternating self-doubt and overconfidence, of procrastination, of wheel-spinning and flip-flopping, even of desperation. Our discomfort often leads us to make decisions too quickly, or too slowly, or too arbitrarily. We flip a coin, toss a dart, let someone else—or time—decide.

The result: a mediocre choice, dependent on luck for success. It's only afterwards that we realize we could have made a smarter choice. And by then it's too late. Why do we have such trouble? It's simple: we don't know how to make decisions well. Despite the importance of decision making to our lives, few of us ever receive any training in it. So we are left to learn from experience. But experience is a costly, inefficient teacher that teaches us bad habits along with good ones. Because decision situations vary so markedly, the experience of making one important decision often seems of little use when facing the next.

How is deciding what job to take or what house to buy similar to deciding what school to send your children to, what medical treatment to pursue for a serious illness, or what balance to strike among cost, aesthetics, and function in planning a new office park? It's true: there's often very little relationship between what you decide in one instance and what you decide in another.

That does not mean, however, that you can't learn to make decisions more successfully. The connection among the decisions you make lies not in what you decide, but in how you decide. The only way to really raise your odds of making a good decision is to learn to use a good decision-making process—one that gets you to the best solution with a minimal loss of time, energy, money, and composure. An effective decision-making process will fulfill these six criteria:. A decision-making approach that addresses these criteria can be practiced on decisions major and minor—what movie to see, what car to buy, what vacation to take, what investment to make, what department head to hire, what medical treatment to pursue.

And the more you use such an approach, the more efficient and effective it will become. As you grow more skilled and your confidence grows, making decisions will become second nature to you. In fact, you may find your friends and associates asking you for help and advice with their tough choices! This book provides you with a straightforward, proven approach for making decisions. It does not tell you what to decide, but it does show you how. Our approach meets the six criteria listed above. It helps you to see both the tangible and the intangible aspects of your decision situation more clearly and to translate all pertinent facts, feelings, opinions, beliefs, and advice into the best possible choice.

Highly flexible, it is applicable to business and professional decisions, to personal decisions, to family decisions—to any decision you need to make. One thing the method won't do is make hard decisions easy. That's impossible. Hard decisions are hard because they're complex, and no one can make that complexity disappear. But you can manage complexity sensibly. Just like you'd hike up a mountain: one step at a time. Our approach takes one step at a time. We have found that even the most complex decision can be analyzed and resolved by considering a set of eight elements see below.

The first five— Problem, Objectives, Alternatives, Consequences, and Tradeoffs— constitute the core of our approach and are applicable to virtually any decision. The acronym for these—PrOACT—serves as a reminder that the best approach to decision situations is a proactive one. The Eight Elements of Smart Choices. Pr oblem. O bjectives. A lternatives. C onsequences. T radeoffs. Risk Tolerance. Linked Decisions. The worst thing you can do is wait until a decision is forced on you—or made for you.

The three remaining elements—uncertainty, risk tolerance, and linked decisions—help clarify decisions in volatile or evolving environments. Some decisions won't involve these elements, but many of your most important decisions will. The essence of the PrOACT approach is to divide and conquer To resolve a complex decision situation, you break it into these elements and think systematically about each one, focusing on those that are key to your particular situation.

Then you reassemble your thoughts and analysis into the smart choice. So, although our method may not make a hard decision easy, it will certainly make it easier. Let's take a brief look at each of the elements of the PrOACT approach to see how they work and how they fit together.

Work on the right decision problem. What must you decide? Is it which health club to join? Or whether to join one at all as opposed to walking more or buying some home gym equipment? Is it who to hire to manage your company's information systems department? Or whether you should even have an information systems department as opposed to outsourcing the function to an outside provider? The way you frame your decision at the outset can make all the difference. To choose well, you need to state your decision problems carefully, acknowledging their complexity and avoiding unwarranted assumptions and option-limiting prejudices.

Specify your objectives. Your decision should get you where you want to go. If you have to hire a new employee, do you want someone who's a disciplined team player or a creative free spirit? Do you want a fresh perspective or solid experience? A decision is a means to an end. Ask yourself what you most want to accomplish and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are most relevant to achieving your goal.

Thinking through your objectives will give direction to your decision making. Create imaginative alternatives. Your alternatives represent the different courses of action you have to choose from. Should you take sides in a family argument or stand aside from the rising tide of accusation and acrimony? Or should you seek a resolution palatable to everyone concerned?

If you didn't have different alternatives, you wouldn't be facing a decision. But have you considered all the alternatives or at least a wide range of creative and desirable ones? Remember: your decision can be no better than your best alternative. Understand the consequences. How well do your alternatives satisfy your objectives? Alternatives beckon and beguile, but beyond them lie sometimes sobering, sometimes exciting consequences.

Abandoning the corporate treadmill for your own sailboat chartering outfit in Aruba may sound enticing, but what would be the consequences for your spouse's career, your school your aging parents, your cancer-prone skin? Assessing frankly the consequences of each alternative will help you to identify those that best meet your objectives—all your objectives.

Grapple with your tradeoffs. Because objectives frequently conflict with one another, you'll need to strike a balance. Some of this must sometimes be sacrificed in favor of some of that. Your career is important to you, but so is your family. You may decide, therefore, to reduce your business travel or even to cut back on your hours at the office.

You'll lose some career momentum and possibly some income, but you'll gain time with your spouse and your kids. In most complex decisions, there is no one perfect alternative. Different alternatives fulfill different constellations of objectives. Your task is to choose intelligently among the less-than perfect possibilities. To do so, you need to set priorities by openly addressing the need for tradeoffs among competing objectives.

Clarify your uncertainties. What could happen in the future, and how likely is it that it will? To decide how much money to set aside for your daughter's college education fund, you must assess a number of uncertainties.