18th April 2017

Sfh2520276A national review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that the NHS is missing opportunities to learn from patient deaths and that specialised training and support is not universally provided to staff completing investigations.Serious incidents are where the potential for learning is so great, or the consequences to patients, families and carers, staff or organisations are so significant, that they warrant using additional resources for a comprehensive response.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and SFJ Awards have launched a new Level 5 Qualification to ensure staff recognise and develop the knowledge and skills required for intevestigating serious incidents in healthcare care.  The new qualification is aimed at staff who are involved in investigating serious incidents in healthcare. This collaborative development has also involved input from a range of providers, including; Leeds Community Healthcare trust, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

The new qualification addresses the following subject areas:

  • the principles of investigating serious incidents
  • the initial review of an incident
  • investigating a serious incident
  • investigative questioning and interviews
  • completing an investigation

The subject areas are underpinned by a training programme that is intended to bring consistency to investigative practices.

How to receive the Qualification


In order to deliver this qualification, employers, training, providers, colleges and universities, will either need to become a SFJ Awards Approved Centre themselves. To become a SFJ Awards Approved Centre is simple and easy. Please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0117 910 2286 to find out more.

Further information

Candidates will need to provide evidence of their knowledge and skills for the qualification via multiple choice tests (carried out during the training) and reflective practice (during a real investigation).  In this way the assessment is integrated with the training programme itself.  The Awarding Organisation stipulates that the qualification must be assessed by assessors with subject expertise, and to maintain quality, the qualification will only be available via approved centres.As an Awarding Organisation, SFJ Awards will offer the qualification nationally via quality assured centres.  As the qualification is regulated by Ofqual, a robust approach to assessment and implementation is required to ensure the qualification is of a suitable high quality.