Critical and Ethical Decision Making

Decision making is a part of everyday life. Each and every one of us is capable of making decisions upon instinct, without even taking time to think about it.

This however becomes complicated when the risks upon the outcome of the decision are increased.

In most areas, being able to take time over something, results in a better product.

This, however, is often not the case when confronted with an important decision.

A number of common faults are:

Risk - Fear of ‘risk’ can result in avoiding making a decision altogether or delaying the decision by seeking more and more information, in the hope that the situation will rectify itself.

Haste - Making a decision too quickly can also be a problem and result in not properly considering the situation, information and options.

Rationale - By not recording considerations effectively, the final decision, which may have been correct, becomes indefensible. Information may now be available which was not available at the time. This can make a good decision now seem to be obviously flawed.

Fear of U-Turn - This term is mentioned continually in the press. This may resulting in making a decision and sticking to it at all costs despite the fact that circumstances have changed or other information has become available.

Quite often in any set of given circumstances there is more than one correct decision.

Different people, provided with the same information, may come to a different conclusion, each of which may be appropriate.

In any and all such scenarios the main way to justify the decision, is being able to clearly identify the rationale which lies behind it.

It maybe that the justification for the decision is just needed to explain something to a work colleague or the severity of the incident may lead to a public enquiry. 

The process for making and recording the decision is the same, with the detail of the rationale being expanded in direct proportion to the level of importance of the decision.

The members of the FIS® team have been making decisions in high pressure situations for over 30 years, dealing with critical life and death situations at the scene of major incidents.

To support this level of critical decision making, models are used to ensure timely, appropriate, justifiable, proportionate decisions are made.

Taking cognisance of these principles and drawing upon this experience, we at FIS® have developed the ‘Decision C.I.R.C.L.E.’.

This is our unique decision making model which can be adapted to deliver effective decisions in any private or public sector organisation.

The level of the decisions to be considered can be adapted to suit the level of the audience.


This course includes: 

  • How we make decisions
  • Blocks to effective decision making
  • How to gather information
  • Recording of decisions and rationale
  • Use of the C.I.R.C.L.E. model
  • How to effective justify a decision
  • Practical decision making scenarios


Business Outcomes

  • Development of effective leadership by introducing consistent decision making processes
  • Improved confidence throughout the organisation for staff, managers and senior leaders, to make ethical decisions, backed up by appropriate rationale
  • Reduction of risk to the organisation, individuals and clients
  • More efficient and effective service to staff and clients
  • Reduction and mitigation of risk in a business environment by effective decision making
  • Staff will have increased confidence in their ability to justify the decisions they have made internally and externally


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