You need to document things properly when you’re instructing an external HR Consultant to deal with an Investigation.

If I am acting for an individual where they’re subject to an investigation by someone outside of their organisation, the employer is often shocked when I request a copy of the Terms of Reference that’s been given to the relevant investigator. Often no such document exists.

When I’m doing an investigation for somebody I want to be clear on the boundaries for my investigation – there may be things that the person instructing me doesn’t want me to go into, an employee may also be a shareholder and the agreement governing their shareholding within an organisation may be of no relevance when it comes to their position as an employee or as a director etc.

It’s also incredibly important from a Data Protection perspective that the engaging organisation that is about to share a whole load of personal data about employees with the external investigator has addressed this contractually. What steps have you taken to protect that data? Once the new data protection legislation comes into effect this will become even more important as the investigator will be a data processor who will have new responsibilities under the legislation. If I’m drafting a Terms of Reference then I will include clauses in the document covering data protection and confidentiality.

If you are an independent HR professional who provides investigation and other services to organisations you need to think carefully about what data protection clauses you’ve put in place between yourself and your customer.

If anybody wants assistance with documentation for these purposes in October 2017 I will be offering a 20% reduction in fees to resolve such issues.