The Formal Investigation
Once a mandatory report or complaint is made, the College will first consider if there is enough information to conduct a formal investigation. If there is any doubt, the reporting dietitian will probably be contacted again. If a formal investigation is initiated, the investigator will focus on locating and interviewing firsthand witnesses of the actual events, and obtaining documents that might bear on the allegations. Most authorities try not to reveal the name of the person making a mandatory report. However, it sometimes is necessary to disclose the name in order to properly investigate or prosecute the matter.
Should dietitians conduct their own investigation when a mandatory report is going to be or has been made? Some worry that this could interfere with or even jeopardize the official investigation. Nonetheless, proceed with great caution and consider the following factors:
In every case, try not to disturb the evidence. Make sure that documents are not altered by your inquiries. Ensure that the recollection of witnesses is not affected by asking leading questions, or interviewing them in the presence of other witnesses or people who may, by their mere presence, influence the answers.
Only make inquiries if there is an important reason for doing so, for example, to ensure that sufficient facts have been collected in order to make the report, establish whether anyone is at immediate risk, or take necessary internal disciplinary action.
If it is reasonably possible, wait until the authorities have completed their inquiries.