Timing of an investigation
It is imperative that you conduct the investigation as soon as possible, to ensure timely relevance and reliability of sources. This is particularly important when gathering witness statements, as witness statements are more reliable when taken closer to when the events occurred.
While some company policies may have set timescales presented for completing investigations, some investigations may take longer than others. A more serious allegation will have a more in depth and longer investigation, than a less serious allegation. For instance, a simpler case may take a day or two to gather all the readily made information together. However, a serious and more complicated case may take weeks, as this can involve interviewing multiple witnesses, and gathering additional physical evidence such as CCTV recordings.
Therefore, while providing a provisional time-frame is helpful, it is worth noting that you do not have to feel restricted to those time-scales. At the end of the day, you want the investigation to be fair and thorough – so if the investigator feels that they require additional time, then the time-frame shall be amended. However, should there be any delays in the investigation process, then all those involved should be notified, and an explanation should also be written in the investigation report.