Maximising the use of low tech communication aids at police interviews, trials and conferences

IfJ CPD Courses

Event details


20 Oct 2023


Friday 10:00-16:00
Registration: 09:45


Online Zoom
United Kingdom

Event Fees

1 day subsidised course £ 50.00

Booking info

Max participants: 20

Course facilitator(s): Dr Tina Pereira and Alison Matthews

Course facilitator(s) bio:

Dr Tina Pereira

Dr Tina Pereira is an RI and HMCTS Appointed Intermediary. She works with vulnerable individuals in criminal and family courts. Tina’s area of specialism is Learning Disability, with a focus on how communication aids can be used in police interviews with vulnerable people. She designs and delivers bespoke training packages and is involved in research on vulnerability in the justice system.

Alison Matthews

Alison Matthews is a Speech & Language Therapist and Director of Total Communication Services CIC. Alison has worked with adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs for many years. Alison is a Talking Mats accredited trainer and Signalong tutor. She worked as a MoJ trained Registered Intermediary but now concentrates on her Speech and Language Therapy role. 

Course requirements: IfJ Member

Who is this course for: RIs and HAIs

This all-day course highlights the various ways in which a range of low technology communication aids can be practically and effectively incorporated into police interviews, trials and conferences, to facilitate best evidence.

It explains the functions aids serve and the type of information they can elicit. The course also emphasises the importance of how to manage aid-use with a vulnerable person and interviewing officer or advocate, for them to be successful. Examples are provided throughout, illustrating the differing but co-dependent roles of intermediaries and interviewing officers or advocates in facilitating effective communication. 

Course content:

The first half of the day provides a general overview of a range of different aids that can be used in legal contexts. The second half of the day explores more specifically at the manner in which aids can be used, using excerpts from real anonymised police transcripts to cover the following: 

  1. How aids can be used:
    • to establish common ground
    • to augment talk to elicit previously unknown information
    • to repair a conversational breakdown 
  2. Role of aids in eliciting complex positional and multipart temporal evidence
  3. Roles of interviewing officer and intermediary in using aids effectively
  4. How to avoid aids from being mismanaged in an interview

Course aims/objectives: 

To provide attendees with an understanding of: 

  1. The many functions of aids and types of evidence or information aids can be used to elicit
  2. How to introduce and manage aids in a police interview, hearing, conference and trial
  3. Best practice in using aids in a non-leading manner 

Course method: 

The course is run in the form of a small group training where the presenters will primarily be persenting information. They will invite participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas, as far as possible, given the constraints of virtual training. 

The following materials are provided: 

  • Timetable
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Guidance and further reading
  • Bibliography

- Participants to log on 15 minutes prior to start of each session.

- It is required that all participants keep their cameras on throughout the workshop.

- Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking with 14 or more days notice, you will receive a full refund minus a £15 admin charge. If you cancel your booking with less than 48 hours' notice, we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. However, you may substitute another delegate or transfer to another course by giving IfJ at least 24 hours’ notice.

In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right to issue a full refund. Please inform us at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please do so by emailing:

We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within two working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within seven days of refund confirmation.

Places are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. There is a minimum requirement of 12 participants. If the minimum number is not met, IfJ reserve the right to cancel the course with at least two weeks' notice and a full refund will be issued.