Virtual LIVE Workplace Investigator Training – June 7,12,21 & 23

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Harassment & bullying investigations can be stressful and challenging processes – this comprehensive virtual training course will provide participants with the essential knowledge & skills to conduct effective workplace investigations.

This new and improved version will now be conducted over 4 days and will be facilitated by Cheryl Otto and Tom Girling, two seasoned investigators. The course will include theory components, group discussions, exercises and role plays.

We will work through a case from start to finish so you will get to experience how an investigation is done!

This Event approved for 16 CPD hours by CPHR.

Soft Copy Manual and PowerPoint Handout Included


  • to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the role of a workplace investigator;
  • to understand appropriate approaches to complaints, i.e. formal vs. formal processes;
  • to develop and implement an investigation plan respecting a complaint;
  • to examine the respective roles, rights, and obligations of the organization;
  • to develop interview skills, and the ability to determine relevant versus irrelevant information for an investigation;
  • to acquire facilitation skills to address procedural or other objections by participants during an investigation;
  • to develop analytical skills vis-à-vis information obtained during an investigation and how to make findings of fact;
  • to understand the legal analysis of information gathered through the investigation process, including relevant sections of applicable human rights legislation and organizational policies; and
  • to develop investigation report-writing skills (i.e. skills necessary in order to produce high quality written investigation reports).

Course Content

1. Review of the legal framework (i.e. organizational policies, applicable human rights and workers compensation legislation):
  • roles, responsibilities and obligations of: the investigator as impartial, unbiased fact finder; the organization as employer; the union; the Reporting Party; the Responding Party; and the witnesses;
  • identifying the nature of the complaint and relevant sections of organizational policies and applicable human rights and workers compensation legislation; and
  • review of the legal process, e.g. due process, confidentiality, credibility, findings of fact, privacy issues, etc.
2. Review of the investigation process (i.e. establishing procedures for conducting investigations):
  • objectives of the investigation and identifying the nature of the complaint;
  • parties to the complaint including representation (e.g. legal counsel, support person);
  • addressing accommodation and safety issues;
  • notifying parties, witnesses and preparing and conducting interviews;
  • issues of confidentiality;
  • documenting statements and maintaining a file;
  • exploring alternate resolution options;
  • dealing with objections and soliciting cooperation from reluctant participants;
  • “off the record” statements;
  • assessing credibility and issuing decisions; and
  • recording procedures of the investigator.
3. Drafting the Report:
  • writing the report, including treatment of documentary and oral evidence, making findings of fact, legal analysis of the allegation, and making a decision.

*There will Practice Exercises assigned at the end of each day & we encourage participants to complete these assignments to be able to experience the best learning opportunity.

Cheryl Otto

Cheryl is a happily retired lawyer who is an industry expert in Canada in the art of workplace investigations. She has been in this line of work for almost three decades and is considered one of the “pioneers” of workplace investigations.

In her career, she has conducted thousands of investigations, and has served as a subject matter expert to media outlets, the legal profession, and industry conferences. Cheryl has been instrumental in helping to define and refine the workplace investigation process, and loves mentoring investigators to become the best they can be.

Tom Girling

Tom served 37 years as a member of the Ontario Provincial Police, and retired at the rank of Superintendent, with his last posting as Director of Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario. He graduated with an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management and has been formally mediating conflict between police officers for 7 years. He continues to work on contract with the Ontario Provincial Police and Legal Aid Ontario in investigating issues involving workplace harassment, bullying and violence. After his career in the OPP, Tom was appointed the Director of Investigations for the regulatory organization, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council where he led a team of investigators deployed across the province. Recently, he was the Manager of investigations for Legal Aid Ontario.

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