JST497 Multi-Agency Investigations (16)

Many types of incidents in the public and private sector can become Critical and by distinction have different characteristics to Major Incidents. Critical incidents are high stake, ambiguous and potentially politically sensitive situations and events, which can occur beyond normal expected organisational activity and, if not managed correctly, can have serious and wide ranging ramifications.

A major incident, on the other hand, may be an event requiring a multi-agency response and can often be planned beforehand. An investigation may not always be necessary following a major incident but if at any point it becomes a critical one, then an investigation will normally ensue.

Using critical incidents as examples, this subject examines organisational and multi-agency responses to, and management of, the divergent categories of an investigation in to a critical incident, exploring; the phases of a critical incident, organisational preparedness, operational risk management, community impact and post incident review and learning.

Decision making models will be considered in depth, and the nuances between Decision Inertia and Decision Error will be examined alongside how emotional intelligence might affect decision making and ethical standards.


Session 2 (60)
Manly Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST497. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Assumed Knowledge

Students in this subject should be working in a law enforcement, emergency service or security organisation or one that is very similar.  Students working at any level of management will be able to apply their knowledge and experience of the organisation to the assessment tasks in the subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to apply professional practice and judgement and contemporary operational and risk management theories in multi-agency settings;
  • be able to critically analyse diverse compliance, regulatory, and accountability issues arising in multi-agency investigation environments;
  • be able to plan, lead, co-ordinate and implement effective strategies in multi-agency investigations;
  • be able to apply the most effective option required to achieve objectives in multi-agency settings;
  • be able to apply established decision-making models in complex operational situations; and
  • be able to demonstrate the communication, literacy, numeracy, research and digital skills required of a competent Investigator.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Differences between critical incident and major incident and their association with investigations
  • Working within high stake, ambiguous and politically sensitive situations
  • The phases of a multi- agency investigation in to a critical incident and operational response processes
  • Operational preparedness
  • Decision making models including 'decision inertia' 'decision error' and the impact of emotional intelligence on decision making
  • Individual perceptions, biases and ethical standards
  • Community impact assessments
  • Operational risk management
  • Post incident management and the importance to the investigation

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST497 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
prepare a memorandum of understanding etc.
Submit an opinion piece
Develop a national multi-agency policy

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.