Criminal Investigation Foundation – Classroom and Workplace Learning Programme

Whilst every job in HMRC is different you could expect to receive the following training schedule:

  • Induction

    1 week (minimum)

  • Foundation Training

    14 weeks (includes GLU & 4 residential 'stages')

  • Training Assessment Period

    12 months (workplace assessment plus some additional training products)

  • Enhanced Training

    Year 2

  • Specialist

    Year 3 onwards

Induction – 1 week (minimum)

Induction to Criminal Justice in HMRC is undertaken in your new office together with other trainees. Once you have arrived at your post, your initial Induction takes place in the first week where you will find out how your team works and familiarise yourself with our IT and HR processes as well as receiving some specific sessions in readiness for your Criminal Investigation Foundation (CIF) programme.

Foundation Training

Your Criminal Investigation Foundation Training programme is a combination of self-study, e-learning and residential training events. You will be supported throughout by your nominated Practical Training Officer, line manager, Senior Officer and by HMRC’s Criminal Justice Academy to ensure that you attain the required level of competency.

The ‘Stages’ of your CIF programme are as follows:

Stage 1 – Operational Safety Training & GLU (including 3.5 day residential training)

Is a period of 5 weeks during which you will complete your self-driven CIF Guided Learning Unit prior to attendance at your first residential training event. Also during this period you will attend your Operational Safety Training 3.5 day residential event where you will learn self-defence skills, conflict management and how to apply handcuffs. In addition you will also undertake mandatory e-learning around Health & Safety, Risk Assessment and Intelligence handling amongst others.

The residential element of this Stage is likely to require you to be away from you home and office.

Stage 2 – Core Investigation Skills (2 weeks residential training)

This initial phase of training includes a Day 1 pass/fail test to ensure you have understood the necessary elements of you GLU. You will then be provided with the core skill sets required to learn: HMRC powers and procedures; how to understand the ingredients of an offence and plan an investigation accordingly; how to handle evidence to maintain the chain of evidence and the basics of criminal disclosure. It will also provide an introduction to key operational and evidence gathering techniques including how to draft search warrants and production orders; how to draft witness statements; how to search suspect premises; criminal finance investigation skills; the seizure of evidence and cash as well as covert techniques including the drafting of surveillance applications. This stage of your training is a mixture of theory and exercise where you will begin to practice your new skills.

This is a residential event which is likely to require you to be away from your home and office.

Stage 3 – Enhanced Investigation Skills 5 weeks (including 3 weeks residential training)

After successfully completing Stage 2, you will return to your home office for 1 week where you will complete a further self-study Guided Learning Unit before attending a 3 week residential training event which builds upon on the core content of Stage 2, but also covers new areas such as: Arrest; search of person; custody procedures; interviewing; search of premises; operation briefings; operational risk management; operational analysis techniques; photography; forensics; and covert techniques including drafting of surveillance authorities.

This stage of your training still includes some theory but builds on the practical application of new skills.

Three weeks of this stage is residential training which is likely to require you to be away from your home and office.

Stage 4 – Final Consolidation Exercise (2 weeks residential training)

This stage is predominantly practical and tests a candidates knowledge through practical scenarios culminating in an immersive Final Exercise week which allows all aspects of Stages 1 to 4 to be demonstrated in a realistic context.

You will learn some additional skills and knowledge in relation to live deployments and will work on your own case completing a search warrant application and applying for it in front of a Magistrate, put together operational risk assessments and planning and briefings before executing these plans in your Final Exercise week.

This stage of your training is designed to put you under pressure in a ‘safe environment’ where you can learn from any mistakes. Some days may be longer than normal due to the nature of the exercises you will be involved in.

This is a residential event which is likely to require you to be away from your home and office.

During all the ‘stages’ of your foundation training you will be fully supported by dedicated trainers and assessed throughout. A final report will be sent to your PTO and Line Manager following completion and will include any areas that you may need to improve upon.

Training Assessment Period (TAP)

You will then spend up to 12 months back in your home office working on real cases and gathering evidence to support your Practical Training Workbook which includes being assessed by your experienced colleagues in a real cases. It is not uncommon for trainees to be given their first cases at this stage to allow development on real cases within the Criminal Justice system.

For those candidates that pass the Criminal Investigation Foundation Programme and TAP, you will become accredited by the University of Portsmouth as an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist.

Enhanced Training – Year 2

Foundation Training is only the beginning of your training journey in FIS. Once you have completed Foundation, there are further courses available that are core to developing your understanding and capability. These include: Criminal Disclosure training; Financial Investigation; Investigative Interviewing; Advanced Decision Making; and Leadership training amongst others. These are core to all staff regardless of which line of business you are placed into within FIS.

Specialist – Year 3 onwards

Different Criminal Justice roles in HMRC have their own skills requirement and there are frequent opportunities to develop specialist skills to support your work. Some of the areas of specialism where opportunities currently exist are: covert surveillance including surveillance driving (Police Advanced Driving); Covert methodologies; enhanced tax skills and tax professional training; advanced financial investigation, confiscation, civil recovery, insolvency and forensic accounting; and enhanced court skills.

There are also ongoing opportunities to development Leadership & Management Skills through the HMRC Leadership Academy and through ongoing professional development activity across HMRC.

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