Rethinking Investigations and Audits

This course is available online, please email to register your interest and for further information. 

This course challenges our understanding of audits and investigation and their fundamental role in improving safety and learning. The key objective is to provide practical tools and concepts for creating a learning organisation.

The Investigation and Audit Framework – Basic Course modules


Module 1


Setting the Scene: Investigations, Audits and Safety.


The limits of our current practice.


We will start the workshop with a practical case study inviting participants to build on prior knowledge and experience. The same case study will be reviewed both from an auditing perspective (foresight) and an investigation perspective (hindsight). Followed by a guided discussion we will consider such questions as Why are Investigations and audits designed and performed in the way they are? What are the common issues we as auditors and investigators face? How do we manage those issues more effectively?


Module 2

Re-thinking Investigations and Audits.


Thinking differently about Investigations and Audits to improve safety.


This session will introduce three key concepts:

  • Meaningful compliance
  • Diversity of perspectives
  • The role of expertise

and explore the role of organisational learning in safety. Compliance can prove insufficient in aligning business goals and safety. What are the alternatives? How can we effectively implement them in our operations?


Module 3

The Discovery Zone: Investigations and Audits in Practice.


What you seek is what you find.


This session is an opportunity for self-reflection, for exploring our innate biases--personal and organisational--and for raising awareness on how they impact our practice.

We will spend some time reviewing real-life examples and making sense of our typical responses in audits and investigations.

Investigation and Audits Differently— Advanced Course modules


Module 4

The Question is the Answer.


How to formulate better questions that lead to meaningful and effective Investigations and Audits.


The focus of this session will be on developing Interviewing skills and designing powerful questions in the context of a learning organisation. How do we formulate questions that engage and build trust? How can we listen better as an organisation and business?

Special attention will be given to remote investigations and how to build trust and engagement when on board visits are not an option. What are the tools available? How do we use these to engage?


Module 5

Auditing and Investigating differently Audit and Investigation scenarios.

This practical session will be organised in small groups. Participants can share their own anonymised reports or alternatively we will provide case studies to apply the learning from previous sessions. How do audits and investigations change when we embrace a diversity of perspectives, realise the power of expertise and aim for meaningful compliance.


Module 6

Reflections and Q&A The focus of this session is to reflect on the learning in the group.


Some of the questions we might explore: What are the fundamental challenges we face in re-thinking Investigations and Audits? How can we effectively address these challenges in everyday practice? What are the support structures do we need to develop in our organisations to investigate differently, embracing a diversity of perspectives; driving meaningful compliance

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the implications of the newly introduced concepts and techniques and raise questions to the facilitators and within the group. Participants will also be offered guidance on recommended reading to strengthen their knowledge and analytical skills.

Beyond the Workshop

Participants will be supported beyond the workshop. Regularly monthly sessions are available (for a small fee) for participants to debrief and reflect on their new practice in the familiar group with the facilitators guidance.

Who should attend?

The online programme is open to any maritime professional keen to learn but especially those who in their role share responsibility for safety. We welcome diversity, debates, disagreements and differences so we can learn from each other’s experiences

The programme assumes some understanding and familiarity with investigations and safety audits and current risk management strategies. In the main it is an opportunity for participants to reflect on their current practice and revisit it in the light of new developments and thinking on the role of learning organisation in safety.

Delivery method

The online workshop will be organised in six two-hour sessions over a period of 3 weeks with a total of 12 hours learning time.

Meet the course facilitators

Dr Nippin Anand PhD FNI
Dr Nippin Anand PhD FNI


Dr Anand is the Founder of Novellus Solutions, a niche consultancy firm with world class expertise in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems specializing in the maritime, oil and gas sector. He is a master mariner and a social scientist with more than two decades of work experience that spans across hands on operations, academic research, consultancy and certification and regulation in the maritime, oil and gas sector.

Dr Anand is a fellow of The Nautical Institute, a Chartered Scientist, a visiting lecturer at Cranfield University and an Associate Research Fellow at Cardiff University. His interests include accident investigations, safety management and cultural anthropology.

Noemi Fabry
Noemi Fabry

Course facilitator

Noemi Fabry is a cofounder of Institutional CUREiosity, a dynamic safety reporting system for high-reliability organisations, particularly in healthcare. This aims to give a voice to those on the frontline to support better informed, sustainable decision-making in the boardroom.

Noemi has two decades of experience in building and maintaining trusting relationships across hierarchical structures and across cultural and language barriers in safety-critical organisations. She codeveloped and implemented Tell-me-More as part of the engagement process for the Safe and Sustainable initiative for the National Specialised Commissioning Team and the Health Foundation.  

Noemi is a trained Thinking Environment Facilitator who collaborated with Nancy Kline on the development of the Mentoring in a Thinking Environment application, co-leading the initial programme for five years. She has a BA from the German Society of Speech Communication and Speech Training (DGSS) and an MA (summa cum laude) in Cultural Studies from the Free University of Berlin.

Scott Baker, Head of Marine Standards Europe, Svitzer says...
“Nippin’s session reinforced a new approach that my team had embarked on; that of looking at what the company could have done to help prevent situations arising, rather than the more traditional system-based error detection doctrine. A powerful, thought-provoking session and one that we intend to follow up with Nippin in the future."


The Nautical Institute is an international representative body for maritime professionals involved in the control of seagoing ships. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of members, who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world. Founded in 1972, it has over 50 branches worldwide and some 7,000 members in more than 120 countries.