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INT1: Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Interviewing



Dr. Eastwood is an Associate Professor in the Forensic Psychology program at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, and the founder of Eastwood Consulting. His research focuses using psychological science to improve interviewing practices. He creates and teaches university courses on investigative interviewing topics – including fully-online courses – at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He also delivers interview training courses and seminars to law enforcement, private, and governmental organizations.


Detective Mitton spent 30 years with the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) and is the lead training consultant at Eastwood Consulting. He spent much of his career as a Major Crimes investigator and has extensive experience in conducting high-profile interviews with victims, witnesses, and suspects. He was also responsible for creating and delivering the interview training within the DRPS until his retirement in 2019.


Throughout the course Dr. Eastwood presents evidence-based concepts related to effective interviewing that are rooted in psychological science. This includes topics such as: core attributes of every successful interviewer, how to plan for an interview, creating an atmosphere that will ensure that the interviewee will want to talk, systematic questioning processes for both cooperative and uncooperative interviewees, how to close an interview in a professional manner, and evaluating performance once the interview is completed.


Along with the theoretical concepts, Detective Mitton discusses a variety of applications, illustrations, and personal anecdotes from his 30 years of experience in conducting high-level interviews within a law enforcement context. As with all of our content, this combination of science and experience ensures the content is both research-based and practically relevant.  


The course consists of six sections: Introduction, Planning, Opening, Account – Cooperative, Account – Uncooperative, and Closing & Evaluation. Each section consists of a brief course overview, a video lecture, accompanying ppt slides, the corresponding chapter from our written Interviewing Manual, supplementary videos illustrating the section content, and a short multiple-choice question quiz.


All of this content is situated within the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), which allows users to systematically work through the content in a sequential manner and tracking their progress as sections are completed. It can be accessed on any internet-enabled device 24 hours a day and can be completed on whatever timeline works for a given trainee.   


This course was designed for investigators of all types, including law enforcement, HR professionals, social workers, loss prevention, medical staff, and beyond. While the examples used often include cases of a criminal nature, the concepts covered in the course can be applied to any questioning context.


The goal of the course is to make trainees more skilled and efficient at extracting information from other people, and so anyone whose job involves talking to, and gathering information from, someone else will benefit from this course. The course is designed primarily for building a solid evidence-based foundation of core interviewing concepts, and so any investigator looking to create or supplement their knowledge and skills in this area will find this course particularly helpful.

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