Skip main navigation

Investigation and operational learning

Is there a model you can follow when carrying out a fraud investigation? In this section, you will learn about this model and its benefits.
Two further important Fraud Investigation Model (FIM) steps, in which you may become involved, are investigation and operational learning.

"" © Olivier Le Moal / Getty Images


An important part of the FIM is the acronym MAP. This stands for Material, Assets, and People. It is so important because it emphasises points that need to be considered and is useful in planning the investigation (Betts 2017: 33).

Diagram showing the MAP model. First, secure the material, then safeguard the assets, then consider the people. Start again with securing the material Click to enlarge

Below are some of the key points for consideration under MAP:


  • What offence(s) may have been committed? ​
  • What is the material relevant to the investigation?​
  • Where is the material located?​
  • When should the material be recovered?​
  • How should the material be recovered?​
  • Record your rationale for the decision made ​


  • Consider restraint of assets that could be dissipated from the start of the investigation ​
  • Engage an accredited financial investigator re the use of powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002​

People ​

  • Identify the suspect(s)​
  • Manage the suspect​
  • Identify witnesses ​
  • Classify witnesses (vulnerable, key or significant)​
  • Manage witnesses ​

(Betts 2017:33)

Managing victims and suspects, and evaluating evidence are also key considerations for the investigator. Safeguarding the assets and securing compensation for the victims are particularly important.

Operational learning

In fraud cases, operational learning is important. In other words, you’ll need to consider what you can learn to improve the effectiveness of future investigations. You’ll, therefore, need to identify:

  • What went well
  • What didn’t go so well?​
  • What could be done differently next time?​
  • What advice could be given to those investigating similar offences?

(Betts 2017:33)


Betts, M.,J. (2017) Investigation of Fraud and Economic Crime Oxford: Oxford University Press

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

Fraud Investigation: Making a Difference

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now