REF2014 Impact Case Study: Improvements to the training and professional development of Police in investigative interviewing

Impact: Societal Impacts

Description of impact

The University of Portsmouth research into effective use of the Cognitive Interview (CI) by police forces in the UK and overseas has led to recommendations for changes to training of police officers in this field throughout their careers being adopted in several countries across the world. The work has also been used to inform the decision making processes of a variety of national policy reviews and professional bodies. Research has improved the standard of interviewing, particularly for sensitive investigations such as rape and child abuse.

Who is affected

Police authorities; Police forces; Interviewees


The Tiered approach to developing an interviewers skills across their career was fully adopted by the UK police as a result of the report and has formed part of the UK government’s “Professionalising the Investigative Process” (PIP) agenda and associated National Occupation Standards. The Tiered approach has also been adopted by the New Zealand Police Force, Australian Federal Police and two Australian Territories.
The group’s research into the CI has encouraged the adoption of the CI by police organisations across the world (in North America, Europe, Australasia, Asia and Africa). The research has been used by Milne to develop teaching materials and training packages for Police Investigators, training investigators from across the world, including from the UK, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
The research study on sexual offences was cited within the Stern Review in which Baroness Stern examined the investigation of rape within the UK and led directly to changes in police interviewing behaviour, advanced training programmes, and by influencing police policy.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactSocietal Impacts
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)


  • cognitive interview
  • police force
  • interviewing skills


  • REF2014