Photo of Dr Sara Waring

Dr Sara Waring PhD, C.Psychol, FHEA, PGCert L&T

Senior Lecturer in Investigative and Forensic Psychology Psychology


Decision making and communication in dynamic risky and uncertain environments

My PhD thesis examined the impact of accountability on police judgments and decisions within critical incident contexts. I have been involved in the debriefing of several critical and major incidents and have delivered numerous practitioner reports to UK and international emergency services and associated public sector agencies, including the Home Office, the national Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme, and the European Commission.

Current research interests include decision making, communication and leadership in complex, risky and uncertain, dynamic environments such as critical and major incidents; developing expertise; and evaluation.

Research Group Membership

Research Grants

Better Policing Collaborative: Police Knowledge Fund.


November 2015 - June 2018

Locality Based Perpetrator Service Evaluation.


April 2014 - July 2015

Research Collaborations

National Fire Chiefs Council Academic Collaboration, Evaluation and Research Group


The Academic Collaboration, Evaluation and Research Group (ACER) is an independent forum convened by the National Fire Chiefs Council to help coordinate and maximise the benefits of academic research with relevance for fire and rescue services, to contribute to improved public and firefighter safety.

Emergency Response Department Science and Technology

Project: Examining disaster response training
External: Public Health England

The risk of mass casualty incidents is high, with the UK threat level for international terrorism currently rated as severe ('an attack is highly likely', UK Home Office, 2018). Hospitals would be likely to play an integral role in any mass casualty incident response and are therefore expected to be prepared to respond effectively. Emergency preparedness exercises provide an important part of the emergency training for providers of healthcare. The purpose of this project is to examine the impact of such training on participants' emergency preparedness, and to identify what skills are important for training facilitators to possess in order to enhance the outcomes of training.