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Workplace investigations are under scrutiny like never before, having been thrust into the spotlight by the #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and similar movements. Investigations are now often conducted remotely, adding complexity to considerations of fairness. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have more than basic knowledge and skills to carry out fair and effective investigations.

This program is intended for more experienced human resources professionals/practitioners who have conducted 10 or more workplace investigations OR have already completed a recognized training course* focused on workplace investigations. *For example, the Workplace Investigations Certificate Program offered by the HRPA is a recommended course.

In order to obtain the certificate, participants have to view the program modules (either live or archived) AND participate in the practical exercises on June 22, 2021, scheduled between 1pm – 4:30pmLive attendance is required at this time.

Over 4 intensive online modules, you will “learn by doing” with lectures, group discussions, breakouts and simulated workplace investigation interviews. You will conduct interviews and receive constructive, practical feedback, enabling you to sharpen your skills.

The Osgoode Advanced Certificate in Workplace Investigations was designed by leading experts, who drill down into some of the most complex and demanding issues, including:

Understanding and Investigating Complaints of Workplace Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

  • Why are complaints of sexual harassment especially challenging?
  • Understanding the psychology around sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • Legal definitions under Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Understanding cultural differences and their impact in this context

Investigating Complicated Allegations of Workplace Bullying

  • Addressing complicated bullying allegations, including historical allegations

Trauma Informed Workplace Investigations

  • Defining trauma and recognizing the forms of trauma
  • How to respond effectively using a trauma informed approach
  • Assessing credibility in a trauma informed investigation

Implicit Bias

  • The impact of biases on an investigation including biases of witnesses and biases of the investigator
  • Recognizing the signs of implicit bias
  • Strategies and tools to mitigate investigator bias

Investigating Allegations of Racism, Systemic Racism, Prejudice and Bias in the Workplace

  • Establishing systemic racism – what type of evidence is required?
  • Examples of systemic discrimination and harassment stereotyping and racial profiling in the workplace

Investigations Workplace Violations: Definitions

  • Breaking down the definition of harassment – the tricky situations including what is a “workplace” and what does “vexatious” mean?
  • Are there legal differences when assessing whether or not there has been harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Human Rights Code?

Ensuring Procedural Fairness

  • Who decides on the process – the investigator, the retaining client or both?
  • What are you legally required to do and what amounts to best practice?
  • How much information do you need to give in advance of the investigation? How to structure a summary of allegations
  • Internal vs external investigations
  • Selecting witnesses
  • At what point do you stop the investigation?

The New Normal: Effective Strategies for Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations Remotely

  • Accessing materials and individuals remotely – what are the key challenges and the best practices to overcome them
  • Assessing credibility when in-person interviews are not possible
  • Data preservation/collection
  • Addressing privacy concerns

Writing Compelling Reports

  • The good, the bad, and the in-between – examples of best practices … and those that fail to achieve the necessary standards expected of an effective workplace investigation report
  • The different styles and types of reports
  • Cost sensitive reports for small organizations


Program Director

  • Lauren Bernardi, Bernardi Human Resource Law

Advisory Board

  • Dean Benard, CEO, Benard & Associates
  • Kenda Murphy, Kenda’s Law
  • Emma Phillips, Goldblatt Partners
  • Hena Singh, Singh Investigations & Mediations; Singh Lamarche LLP


  • Sarah Atkinson, Lawyer, Workplace Investigator, Mediator, Trainer at Self
  • Dean Benard, CEO, Benard & Associates
  • Lauren Bernardi, Bernardi Human Resource Law
  • Kim Bernhardt, Arbitration and Mediation
  • Mihad Fahmy, Mihad Fahmy Law
  • Arleen Huggins, LSM, Koskie Minsky LLP
  • Inna Koldorf, Miller Thomson LLP
  • Pilar Michaud, Director, Human Rights and Dispute Resolution, Equity and Inclusion Office, McMaster University
  • Kenda Murphy, Kenda’s Law
  • Emma Phillips, Goldblatt Partners
  • Alison Renton, Bernardi Human Resource Law
  • Hena Singh, Singh Investigations & Mediations; Singh Lamarche LLP
  • Jennifer Wootton, Workplace Investigation Lawyer – Optimal Resolution™


HRPA Accredited

This program has been approved for 24 continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A3 of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) log of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)


Fees include attendance and program materials.

Group Discounts and Financial Assistance

OsgoodePD offers group rates and financial assistance for both on-site and webcast formats.

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.

Cancellations and Substitutions

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 14 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 14 days notice, a $75 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:
David Thomas at dthomas@osgoode.yorku.ca

Program Details

Date & Time

June 16, 17, 22 and 24, 2021


Online - Live, interactive

Fee per Delegate

$2,995 + HST

Newly Licensed Rate (2018-Present): $1,497.50 + HST

Register Now

Printable Registration Form

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Human Resources Professionals
  • Employment and Labour Lawyers
  • Workplace Investigators
  • Trade Union Representatives
  • Workplace Consultants/Educators
  • This annual program is intended for more experienced human resources professionals/practitioners who have conducted 10 or more workplace investigations OR have already completed a recognized training course* focused on workplace investigations. *For example, the Workplace Investigations Certificate Program offered by the HRPA is a recommended course

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Approved by HRPA for 24 Continuing Professional Development hours

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