This course focuses on the fundamental skills required by an accident investigator, and draws upon the experiences of the air, marine and rail transport industries to give a balanced view of the accident investigation process.  Read more Read less

The course structure has been developed in close collaboration with the accident investigation community and with the endorsement of the Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre's Industry Advisory Board.

This practical course benefits from significant participation by members of the UK Air, Marine and Rail Accident Investigation Branches, and brings together the considerable expertise and experience of investigators, operators and researchers to deliver a level of training that is second to none.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 08 - 26 May 2017
  • Duration3 weeks
  • LocationCranfield Campus
  • Cost£5,300 The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

The course features lectures, tutorials and practical training, including a 3-day simulation of a transport accident investigation. The theory is brought to life through case study investigations and hands-on exercises. All delegates will complete a series of assessment tasks throughout the course and receive feedback.

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the accident investigation process for a transport accident, including elements of preparation, emergency response, evidence collection and analysis, report writing and safety recommendations.
  • Work safely under supervision at an accident site.
  • Conduct witness interviews and collect material evidence from a variety of relevant sources.
  • Perform an analysis of evidence to develop a no-blame report of what occurred and recommendations for future preventions.
  • Critically assess strategies for working alongside interested parties including emergency services, legal services, pathologist, scientific support, news media, families and regulatory authorities.

Core content

  •     Legislation and Regulation
  •     Appraisal of the Accident Site
  •     Disaster Response
  •     Recovery of Wreckage
  •     Collection of Evidence
  •     Accident Photography
  •     Hazards Management On Site
  •     Wreckage Recovery
  •     Interviewing Techniques
  •     Structures and Crashworthiness
  •     Human Factors for Investigators
  •     Media Management
  •     Accident Pathology
  •     Data recorders and their Analysis
  •     Analytical Techniques
  •     Systemic Approach to Investigation
  •     Managing Investigations
  •     Liaising with Victims and their Families
  •     Relations with the Regulator / Interested Parties
  •     Developing and Managing Recommendations
  •     Report Writing
  •     Follow-up Actions
  •     Court Procedures for Investigators

Who should attend

The course is designed for those who may have to conduct, or participate in, an accident investigation. This may be in the role of official state investigator, or as a representative of a manufacturer, operator or service provider. Although the main focus of the course is the civil transport industry, there is also considerable value for military personnel and there is always a significant military presence on the course.

All lectures and workshops will be in English and due to the intensity of the course those without a thorough knowledge of English would be at a severe disadvantage. There are no formal qualifications for entry, but course numbers are limited and courses are usually oversubscribed.


One of the strengths of Cranfield is that we bring together a world-class group of experts to share their experiences. The course contains contributions from representatives of the UK Air, Marine and Rail Accident Investigation Branches, together with experts from a range of areas vital to the process of accident investigation. These include specialists in emergency response and management, photography, evidence collection, witness interviewing, human performance, handling the news media, dealing with relatives and working with the legal community.


Group discount Where three delegates or more are booking from within one site or one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

Accommodation is available at Mitchell Hall which is located on campus. All rooms are en-suite and bookings are on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. If you would like to book accommodation for this short course at Mitchell Hall, please indicate this on the registration form and we will arrange this for you.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.