Dudley MBC Education Investigation Service

Dudley MBC Education Investigation Service


Keith Bates headed the service which employs 6 investigation officers and 2 administrative support staff.

In the education sector alone it supports 105 schools with 45,000 pupils in attendance.


Key to the work of an Education Investigation Officer was the collection of evidence - in a fair, accurate and timely fashion and with sufficient credibility and where necessary legal admissibility. The bulk of evidence was produced in the form of statements obtained from witnesses (with some covered by PACE).

Prior to outsourcing the typing of documents to Freedom Technical, EIS officers had to write out witness statements long hand (which averaged 3-4 hours). Either the officers or administrators then had to type up the statements, which took a considerable amount of time. Dudley EIS sought to achieve:

  • Quicker turnaround time for transcriptions from audio recordings.
  • Improved accuracy of transcription from audio recordings.
  • Freeing up Education Investigation Officers from having to transcribe their own audio recordings, which in turn would allow them to handle more cases and speed up response times to new referrals.
  • Improved confidentiality and reduced costs.


Freedom Technical provided a solution that addressed all concerns Dudley MBC had in terms of data protection, processing, security, storage and confidentiality.

Dudley EIS produced audio files on an ad hoc basis in a variety of sound formats. The Freedom Transcription service handled the disparate sound formats and provided secure transmission of the files, storage and return of typed documents. This was achieved using an enterprise-grade secure file synchronisation and share service, with highest levels of encryption in transit and at rest, 99.9 percent uptime and fully compliant EU based storage locations.

When asked to comment on the service and support received from Freedom Technical, Keith said “The service has been very reliable with very quick response time to requests for assistance, accurate transcription, and flexibility when dealing with deviations to the standard working methods (for example where differing audio formats have been supplied, urgent requests have been made and difficult audio conditions). Communications have been secure and confidentiality has been maintained at all times”.


EIS staff were not trained audio typists so they could be slow in transcribing the recordings (compared to the Freedom Transcription service).

Referrals to the EIS had continued to rise so by outsourcing transcription to Freedom Transcription staff EIS were able to handle more cases and officers time was enhanced. The other benefits were:

  • No recruitment and HR costs for audio transcription staff
  • Improved morale amongst staff
  • Faster turnaround time
  • Increased accuracy of recorded witness statements
  • Better value in terms of legal admissibility
  • Better staff productivity
  • Improved quality
  • Regulatory and Quality Standard compliance
  • Better client service
  • Better confidentiality and security
  • Greater staff mobility and aid to AGILE working

In terms of financial savings, Keith commented “EIS has therefore been able to demonstrate a significant cost saving by outsourcing (this translates to an annual saving of thousands of pounds). This is just the initial net cost saving however crucially the Freedom Technical service has been delivered “on demand” The cost to EIS of providing the spare resource via traditional employed status would be far higher due to the unpredictability of demand for the service.


Keith commented “Freedom Technical provides accurate, high quality transcription with an excellent and consistently reliable turnaround time. The encrypted file transfer process is simple to use and secure. We have saved thousands of pounds whilst at the same time improving the efficiency of our work”.

Referrals to the EIS have continued to rise so by outsourcing to Freedom Technical our staff have been able to handle more cases and officers’ time has been enhanced