Incident Investigation, Human Failure & Cause Tree Analysis

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 7

Online | In-company


This course aims to improve your process incident investigation skills by focusing on the key aspects of incident investigation:

  • the need to search for systemic failures
  • how to diagnose and address human failure
  • collecting evidence (in particular oral evidence)
  • identifying root causes using the Cause Tree Analysis technique.

The course uses case studies from real incidents to demonstrate the use of the SRK human error taxonomy and how to apply Cause Tree Analysis. It includes a workshop in which you will work in teams to develop a cause tree from a description of the evidence from an incident.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you will:

  • understand the multiple purposes of investigations
  • understand the causation 'domino theory' and the need to search for system failures
  • appreciate the different ways humans can fail and how investigations can address these
  • understand how to diagnose human error using the SRK model
  • understand the challenges in collecting evidence and how these can be addressed
  • understand how to apply the Cause Tree (root cause) Analysis technique.

Who will benefit

Managers, supervisors and engineers that have responsibilities for investigating process incidents or who are required to participate in investigations.

Course outline

  • The search for system failures
  • Why humans fail and how we can respond to human failure
  • Case study – human failure diagnosis and response
  • The challenge of evidence collection
  • Cause Tree (root cause) Analysis
  • Workshop – constructing a Cause Tree

Upcoming courses


Online courses consist of one live and interactive module with the trainer on the date indicated together with pre-recorded video content for independent study alongside the live session.

  • 20 September 2023, 10:00–13:00 BST

Live sessions are delivered via Microsoft Teams. If you don't already have this installed, you can join as a guest in order to access the training.


No scheduled dates.

Not available then?

Register your interest in alternative dates.

How to register

Select your preferred course from the list of upcoming start dates and go to the 'Book course' button at the bottom of this page.

More than one person to train?

Multi-place discounts

Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place. Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.

  • 2 places – 10% discount
  • 3 places –15% discount
  • 4 or more places – 20% discount

In-company training

This course can be delivered to corporate teams, either on-site or online. This could be a cost-effective option if you have several people requiring the training. Content can be tailored to your specific requirements. Request a quotation.

CPD hours

An e-certificate will be issued at the end of the course to confirm attendance and CPD hours logged. Please note that you must attend all modules to receive the certificate. 

CPD hours should be used as an approximate guide and will vary depending on the preferred approach of the delegate and to what extent additional learning is completed.

Associated course

Human Factors in Health and Safety, Module Two: Managing Human Failure

Learn how to manage human failure effectively to improve overall safety and business performance.

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