Instructor Hal Humphreys takes you through basic theories of professional ethics, including the places ethics and the law overlap (and don’t), the role of culture in how we determine what’s ethical, and methods for making tough ethical decisions. After talking about theories of ethics briefly, we’ll turn to practical ethical questions, including common conundrums many investigators face and illustrative case studies to ponder. We’ll touch on issues of surveillance, pretexting, domestic casework, questionable jobs and clients, criminal defense, subcontracting, report-writing, client communication and transparency, fees and retainers, competency, and confidentiality. Hopefully, you’ll come away with a stronger framework for deciding what’s ethical, even as new issues arise that you’ve never faced before. Many ethical questions have no single “right” answer, which is why the most important takeaway is not a set of rules, but a structured approach to considering ethical dilemmas in your investigative work. We hope this course can help, but it’s only a beginning: Ethical decision making takes practice, study, and often, turning to colleagues for advice. That’s why we’ve included articles and interviews with other professionals in this course: Seeing how others make these tough choices can help guide our own problem-solving.
Unfortunately, the investigative profession doesn’t have the best reputation for being ethical. Instructor Hal Humphreys makes the case that it doesn’t have to be that way: Being ethical doesn’t mean being perfect; it just means honing the skill of ethical decision-making, understanding the difference between what’s legal and what’s ethical, and the role of culture and our peers in what we consider ethical. This course is NOT meant to tell you what do; our goal is to get you thinking about what your values are, as a professional and a human, and how you perform when faced with painful moral choices.
An exam will be administered upon the conclusion of the program. If the candidate passes with a score of 70 percent or better a certificate of completion will be issued in accordance with acceptable standards.