Unsubstantiated versus Undetermined

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    Katie Smith

    Hi Patrick,

    If it's helpful, in my case management I take the same approach and operate under the same definitions as you do. I think there are some organizations that don't use both unsubstantiated and undetermined. I've always found it helpful, especially in conversations with the c-suite and the board, to have that extra level of differentiation between unsubstantiated and undetermined. Without it, it gives a false sense of the nature of issues and their impact to the company.

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    Patrick Burns

    Thanks Katie.  I agree with the extra level of data, as well.  I think it is important to know which reports cannot be proven versus those that can be shown as not accurate.  We look at how cases that can't be proven are submitted to see if we need to adjust how we communicate to the field, with respect to employees knowing how an investigation works and what we need from them, whether they report openly or anonymously. 

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    Ashley Green

    Hi Patrick,

    I know this is a little old, but to offer a different perspective, we do use both determinations but define them a little differently than you've articulated. Unsubstantiated for us means that an reasonable inquiry or full investigation was conducted and the evidence did not support a finding that the subject had violated any policies. Undetermined for us means we were not able to do any kind of fact-finding for whatever reason (not enough information and no follow up, the actual allegation did not allege misconduct, etc) and then we use the notes to describe why it is undetermined.

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