OUR STRENGTH COMES FROM THE COMBINED EXPERIENCE OF OUR STAFF AND COURSE FACILITATORS. TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE BACKGROUND AND PHILOSOPHY OF ICETS, HAVE A READ OF THE INTERVIEW BETWEEN CRAIG DORAN (CO-FOUNDER OF ICETS) AND GAIL GERONIMOS (ARCHAEUS GROUP).
When did you first get involved in investigation skills training?
I have been involved in criminal investigations for the past 22 years. I had worked in just about every aspect of criminal investigations including major crime, corporate fraud, covert investigations and organised crime.
About 9 years ago an associate of mine asked me to make appearances as a guest speaker and facilitator for an investigation skills course run by a private training firm.
From that first course I was hooked. I found it both fun and rewarding to watch investigators from other walks of life benefit from my own experience and of course the ‘war stories’.
Why did you decide to develop the ICETS training program?
Two reasons really. The first is that when I did a few of these courses I found myself skipping over course content because it was ‘dated’ or no longer relevant to modern investigation skills. The private training firm I worked for had been around for 13 years and was quite reputable, but like many training companies, was founded and managed by people who left the ‘investigation arena’ years ago. Not wanting to offend, but the majority of them were ‘out of touch’. 12 months later I bought the company and began a process of evaluation and redesign of the investigative skills programs.
The second reason was that a common theme was coming from many of the investigators participating on the course. That thought process was ‘we rarely go to court or prosecute and just continually send out scary letters. So why do we need to know how to investigate to criminal standard’. I realised that there was a definite need for a change in the mindset of a lot of public sector investigators.
You see, as an investigator, you need to understand that the importance of a good investigation is not just to prosecute but to ensure compliance. Many companies, especially those with a million or billion dollar profit line, don’t comply with legislation out of fear of getting a warning letter, they do it out of a fear of prosecution and penalty.
So if you can’t prosecute, then your probably can’t enforce compliance. That can be a problem if your role is compliance enforcement.
What are some of the contributions ICETS have made to client organisations?
I’ll tell you the main thing that sticks out for me. Our courses go beyond generic courses. Each of our packages is tailored to our client’s specific needs. Not only are our packages put to use in their workplace but some of our products are even adopted by law enforcement agencies. Its a well known fact that training itself will only deliver a limited percentage of change. Its the application of that knowledge by the course participant that results in the retention of knowledge and increased investigation skills. At ICETS we provide our course participants with not just the knowledge but a range of tools and products ( for example the COMtrac investigation and evidence management application) that ensure the application of the course knowledge to the workplace.
Craig what about you personally. What are some of your proudest achievements as a professional?
The design and release of the COMtrac investigation and evidence management software application. After 3 years of design, review and iteration we released COMtrac to the law enforcement and regulatory sector as a world first in evidence and brief management. The interest has been incredible with agencies reporting the efficiency and quality of investigations increasing to levels never seen before.
COMtrac was designed by me on a key training aspect which I have called ‘Élementising Evidence’. It literally drives investigation efficiency and quality by proving a consistent and proven evidence management methodology for any type of investigation.
It was originally designed to make life easier for investigators but quickly became apparent that the benefits extended to investigation managers, prosecutors, legal officers and the courts as increased efficiency and quality of these roles and proceedings were also resulting from the process of ‘Elementising Evidence’ …(and yes, Elementising Evidence is a phrase which I have come up with).
With COMtrac being already adopted by law enforcement and regulatory agencies in Australia and Overseas, it truly is something that often makes me sit back and think “I did something important here“.
What are some of the big things ICETS has accomplished for clients that you feel gives it the edge over the competition?
We have given them courses that are not just measured against the achievement of a formal qualification, but more importantly, are measured against how training has increased participant’s competencies and effectiveness in their jobs.
We have provided customised courses that can be used as induction programs for new staff.
The thing to remember is that our staff are current industry professionals. None of our course facilitators are going to start off their training lectures with an introduction of “when I was an investigator we didn’t need those fancy computers…?”