The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre presents this course to help prepare transport accident investigators (air, rail, marine, defence) for giving legal evidence in court, being an expert witness and understanding courtroom procedures. Read more Read less

The course provides an introduction to the various legal processes within the Common law and Civil law legal systems, military inquiries, and both civil and criminal litigation. This course has been developed in collaboration with experienced lawyers and the professional accident investigation community.

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the role and responsibilities of transport accident investigators with respect to legislation, standards and recommended practices, and legal processes. Participants will also learn how to report their findings and present their evidence effectively in the courtroom and at legal inquiries.

The course brings together the considerable expertise of accident investigators (both civilian and military), legal experts, coroners and regulators to deliver a level of practical training that is world-class. Collectively the presenters experience includes involvement in high profile accidents such as:

  • Air France flight AF447
  • Concorde flight Air France AF4590
  • Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
  • Super Puma G-REDL.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 09 - 13 May 2022
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost

    £1,735 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 begins with lectures and case studies based on the key topics to give delegates an introduction to the main legislation and standards. Participants will then be involved in a practical exercises to consolidate learning through the use of videos, giving witness statements, interviewing each other, writing reports and an opportunity to practice defending your report in a mock courtroom. Delegates will be able to receive feedback on their performance.

What you will learn

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

  • Present oral evidence in court professionally, and to be able to respond effectively under cross-examination.
  • Prepare notes and accident reports according to industry best practice, which can be used appropriately by parallel investigation processes.
  • Describe the role of the accident investigator within the international and national legal frameworks, and how they interact with Common Law and Civil Law legal processes.
  • Define the role and responsibilities of the accident investigator as expert witness.

Core content

  • Standards, Recommended Practices, Legislation and Regulation with Respect to Transport Accident Investigation
  • Role and Legal Responsibilities of the Accident Investigator
  • Note Taking and Statement Writing
  • The Coroner’s Court
  • Fatal Accident Inquiries
  • Military Legal Processes
  • Public Inquiries
  • Civil Litigation Processes
  • Presentation of Evidence in Court by Investigator
  • Protection of Witnesses / Evidence
  • Civil Litigation in Europe, the UK, and the USA
  • Criminal Litigation Processes
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation Processes
  • The Procedures, Order of Events and Roles of Participants
  • How to Give Clear, Honest and Objective Evidence
  • How to Make Appropriate Use of Supporting Evidence, Documents and Notes When Giving Evidence
  • How to Prepare for Giving Evidence
  • Techniques Used by Lawyers in Cross-examination
  • Role Play of Cross-examination
  • Case Studies: Super Puma G-REDL, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, Nimrod XV230, Concorde F-BTSC, Air France flight AF447.

Who should attend

Previous delegates have come from organisations such as:

  • Government accident investigation agencies
  • Defence/military accident investigators
  • Airlines and operators
  • Manufacturers and maintainers
  • Legal representatives
  • Regulators
  • Senior Safety Management.


Presenters include:

  • Visiting Professor David King, former Chief Inspector, Aircraft Accidents Investigation Branch
  • David-Burrows Sutcliffe, Solicitor Advocate with particular experience of advising accident investigators and emergency responders in courtroom skills.

Guest lecturers include a Coroner, Procurator Fiscal and investigators from the civil and military domains.


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

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

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

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.