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Communications data investigation

To provide core skills in data communication investigation.


To provide core skills in data communication investigation to agreed Industry and Home Office accreditation standards.


After attending this course, the participant will:

  • understand and be able to put into practice the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 to facilitate the lawful acquisition of communications data (CD)
  • have knowledge of all types of CD available from postal, communication and internet service providers, including data retention policies
  • be accredited to have the authorisation to use an online system to obtain data from providers
  • be able to advise SIOs and applicants of the best use of CD during the course of crime investigations, and have a full understanding of the specialist services that are available
  • ensure that protection of covert methodology is maintained, and understand how to deal with this in an evidential arena
  • understand how to trace IP addresses and resolve them
  • understand all communications data and how it can assist an investigation

Key details

  • Delegates will be or expected to be in a role that requires acquisition of communications data (CD) regulated by the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.
  • Investigative experience to PIP (professionalising the investigative process) level 1 or above would be an advantage but is not a prerequisite.
  • Students should have an understanding of telephony and be using computers on a regular basis and will have knowledge of applications such as Microsoft Office and internet services such as the web and email.
  • An understanding of the following legislation would also be of assistance:
  1. Human Rights Act
  2. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  3. Data Protection Act 2018
  4. Freedom of Information Act
  5. Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA)
Practitioner group

Officers and staff from the law enforcement and wider public authorities who need to lawfully acquire and use communications data in criminal investigations, both historically and during live crime action scenarios.

Accreditation notes:

Students attending this course will be continually assessed, and will also undertake a skills and knowledge assessment on the final day of the course.

Accreditation will only be awarded to students who successfully complete the course. 


Home Office forces (non-residential):

£2,750.50 (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)

Course contact
Additional information

Trainers will be employed by the College of Policing, and will all be Home Office SPoC accredited officers or industry experts.

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