ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION Doc 9756 - Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
From the ICAO Publications Catalogue "The purpose of this manual is to encourage the uniform application of the Standards and Recommended Practices contained in Annex 13 and to provide information and guidance to States on the procedures, practices and techniques that can be used in accident and incident investigations. It is issued in four parts which supersede the Manual of Aircraft Accident Investigation (Doc 6920)".
Part I - Organization and Planning
Part I of this manual includes considerations for the establishment of an aircraft accident investigation authority in terms of its structure, staffing and legislation. The planning of an investigation and the notification process for accidents and incidents are also addressed, as are the initial actions to be taken at an accident site, with particular emphasis on the safety of personnel. A directory of the accident investigation authorities in all States and their contact details is included.
Part II - Procedures and Checklists
Part II provides information on the common techniques and procedures, as well as checklists to assist States in aircraft accident and incident investigations. The manual also provides guidelines on major investigations that can be used, particularly, in the conduct of larger accident investigations.
Part III - Investigation
Part III provides guidance for the investigation of all technical areas that could be involved in an aircraft accident or incident. Guidance is also provided for the several phases of an investigation. The content includes wreckage investigation, structures and systems investigation, flight recorders, aircraft performance, etc.
Part IV — Reporting
Part IV provides guidance in developing the final reports as a result of the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents including comprehensive guidelines on drafting and processing of safety recommendations. It outlines the format and content and the procedures for consultation, release, distribution, and dissemination of the final report.
Note: The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability. 
The investigation into the loss of MH370 was initiated by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau in Malaysia. The AAIB is administered by the Department of Civil Aviation which is part of the Ministry of Transport (Malaysia).
A Preliminary Report 03/2014 was compiled by the AAIB and submitted to the ICAO, as required by Part IV.
The Preliminary Report identifies the States and Accredited Representatives which will contribute to the Investigation.
Australia is providing technical assistance to the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has started an External Aviation Investigation (for MH370) with reference number AE-2014-054 
The Final Report will also be submitted by the Department of Civil Aviation (Malaysia).
- ICAO Publications Catalogue 2014 Edition http://www.icao.int/publications/Pages/catalogue.aspx or download http://www.icao.int/publications/catalogue/cat_2014_en.pdf
- ICAO Annex 13 paragraph 3.1
- ATSB Aviation safety investigations & reports (MH370) http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2014/aair/ae-2014-054.aspx