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The Essentials for Ombuds is a five-day intensive training collaboration between the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development.

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Now in its eighth year, this unique program, both comprehensive and in-depth, is intended to meet the needs of recent appointees to the Ombuds role or Office, as well as providing those with more experience an opportunity to become conversant with both the theory and practice of the Ombuds role, wherever it is located. You will develop a deeper understanding of the requirements and expectations for Ombuds by exploring and examining the myriad of evolving issues and challenges facing those who practise in the Ombuds field today, and by reviewing best practices of Ombuds across the country.

Taught by a highly distinguished faculty of practising Ombuds, lawyers and academics from across Canada, all of whom are leaders in their field, the certificate program will give you the theory, knowledge and practical skills to competently and confidently handle day-to-day challenges as well as more complex issues. The teaching style is a mixture of lectures, group discussion and hands-on practical exercises, providing a rich, interactive learning format.


Program Directors

  • Renée Gavigan, Deputy Ombudsman, Ombudsman Saskatchewan
  • Shirley R. Nakata, Ombudsperson for Students, University of British Columbia

2019 Faculty included:

  • Kwame Addo, Ombudsperson, Ryerson University
  • Jay Chalke, Ombudsperson of British Columbia
  • Ian Darling, Chair, Condominium Tribunal for Ontario; former Ombudsperson for Tarion Warranty Corporation and former Ombudsperson for Fanshawe College
  • Nora Farrell, former Ombudsperson in the higher education, not-for-profit and public sector; current Ombudsperson in the private sector
  • Barbara Finlay, Deputy Ombudsman, Province of Ontario
  • Renée Gavigan, Deputy Ombudsman, Ombudsman Saskatchewan
  • Jane Griesdorf, The Writing Consultants
  • Valerie Jepson, Integrity Commissioner, City of Toronto
  • Gareth Jones, Director, Special Ombudsman Response Team, Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
  • Dr. Katy Kamkar, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Health Program / Work, Stress and Health Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Lynn Lavallée, Strategic Lead, Indigenous Resurgence, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University
  • Mary McFadyen, Ombudsman and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner, Province of Saskatchewan
  • Becky McFarlane, Program Director, The 519 Church Street Community Centre
  • Sandra Morrison, Organizational Ombudsman, Scotiabank, Toronto
  • Bradley Moss, Assistant Citizens’ Representative, Office of the Citizens’ Representative for Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Charles Murray, Ombud New Brunswick
  • Shirley R. Nakata, Ombudsperson for Students, University of British Columbia
  • The Hon. Justice Lorne Sossin, Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)
  • Mark Wright, Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)



Fees include attendance, program materials, lunch and break refreshments for each of the 5 days of the program. The price does not include accommodations. Please inquire about financial assistance. Dress is business casual.

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the certificate program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Certificate of Program Completion

You will receive a certificate upon completion of The Osgoode/FCO Certificate - Essentials for Ombuds. Participants must attend all program modules and successfully complete the take-home assignment to receive a certificate.

Substitutions, Cancellations and Refunds

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute, a full refund is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 21 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 21 days notice, a $150 administration fee will apply. No other refund is available.

Technical Support

In the event you experience technical difficulties, please contact opdsupport@osgoode.yorku.ca for assistance.


Have questions? Read our FAQs.

Program Details

Questions on program registration?
Please contact the Registration Team at osgoodepd@osgoode.yorku.ca

Questions on the program content?
Please contact the Program Lawyer:
Stéphane McRoberts at smcroberts@osgoode.yorku.ca

Program Details

Date & Time

September 28 – October 2, 2020


Osgoode Professional Development Centre,
1 Dundas St. W., 26th Floor Toronto, ON

Fee per Delegate

$3,395 plus HST

Register Now

Printable Registration Form

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Ombuds (working in legislated roles or in public and private sector organizations or associations established by policy, Charter, Order-in-Council, etc.)
  • Assistant / Deputy Ombuds, and Directors in Ombuds offices
  • Early Resolution Staff
  • Conflict Resolution Staff working in an Ombuds context
  • Dispute Resolution Officers
  • Fairness Commissioners/ Fairness Practitioners
  • Integrity Commissioners
  • Citizens’ Representatives
  • Investigators / Senior Investigators in an Ombuds context
  • Complaint-handling staff in both private and public sector organizations
  • Public Editors (at newspapers and other media outlets)
  • Legal or other specialized counsel to Ombuds Offices

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Here’s what past participants said of The Osgoode/FCO Certificate Essentials for Ombuds:

“I have never taken away so much from a week of training!  I am grateful for the time, planning, speakers and interaction with my colleagues on the course!” 

Mary Kirby, Director, Strategic Planning and Research, Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces

“I was very pleased and grateful for the material that have been handed out.  They will be a great resource that I can use going forward.  I thoroughly enjoyed the entire program.  The speakers and topics covered were excellent and made for a well-rounded program.  The ability to network with so many phenomenal professionals was amazing.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”

Shelley McKeen-Weaver, Client Liaison Consultant, Children’s Services, City of Toronto

“Great balance of information for different types of Ombuds.”

Lakai Fill, Investigations Officer, Office of the Ombudsman for Bermuda

Hotels & Parking

If you require accommodations in downtown Toronto, OsgoodePD has arranged Corporate Rates with several hotels within walking distance of our downtown conference centre.

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