Incident Investigation, Human Failure & Cause Tree Analysis

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 7*

Price IChemE member £420 + VAT, non-member £504 + VAT


Live online course – 27 September 2022, 10:00–13:00 BST.

This online course aims to provide delegates with improved 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) and 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 the application of Cause Tree Analysis, and includes a workshop in which delegates will work in teams to develop a cause tree from a description of the evidence from an incident.

Teaching will be delivered via one live session (approximately three hours in length) and pre-recorded video content for independent study.

An e-certificate will be issued at the end of the course to confirm attendance and CPD hours logged. 

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


Tuesday 27 September 2022, 10:00–13:00 BST

Pre-recorded video content will be provided for independent study alongside the live session.

Not available then? Register your interest in future course dates.


  • IChemE member: £420 + VAT
  • Non-member: £504 + VAT


Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place:

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

Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.


Modules will be delivered via Microsoft Teams. If you don't already have this installed, you can join as a guest in order to access the training. We'll share information about how to do this after you've registered.

Train your team

This course can be delivered to corporate teams, either on-site or online. Content can be tailored to your specific requirements, and this could be a cost-effective option if you have several people requiring the training. To find out more and request a quotation, visit our in-company training page.


* 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.

Contact Phone +44 (0)1788 534496

Contact Email

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Associated course

Managing Human Failure

From 4 July 2022, 09:00–11:00 BST | Explore how to manage human failure effectively to improve safety and business performance.

Nigel Bowker


Nigel Bowker

BSc(Eng), ACGI, MBA, C Eng, FIChemE

After graduating from Imperial College in 1976 with a degree in chemical engineering, Nigel worked as a process engineer for two firms of design contractors (Stone and Webster and Davy Powergas) and later worked for Shell Expro.

In 1986, he joined BP where he worked for the next 22 years. His career with BP included exploration and field development, production operations offshore (in Forties) and onshore (in the Forties Pipeline System), internal audit and health, safety and environment. His final role was as HS&E Manager in supply chain management for the North Sea.

After taking early retirement from BP, Nigel set up his own consultancy. He has provided a range of services to clients including process engineering, audit, process safety and occupational safety. He now specializes in chairing HAZIDs and HAZOPs and is an accredited HAZOP chairman with BP.

Nigel is a fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and is a former chairman of the IChemE’s Aberdeen Member Group.

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