85 Years of Lifelong Learning

Queen’s IRC celebrated our 85th anniversary on October 12, 2022, with an afternoon open house. Guests from the University and local community, as well as IRC participants, speakers, and staff celebrated at the Queen’s IRC office in Kingston.

Speeches from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Dr. Barbara Crow, and Queen’s IRC Director of Professional Programs, Alison Darling, highlighted new programs and projects on the horizon for the Centre, and showcased our achievements.

The event also provided the opportunity to reflect on our history and review some of the documents from our past. In many ways, we see how far our training – and the world in general – has come since 1937. We started in a time when industrial relations conferences and training was for “business men”, with men leading the training as well. In 2022, we find that at least half, and often more, of our participants (and facilitators) are women.

Topics at the “Conference on Industrial Relations” on Sept 14-17, 1938, included subjects such as: “trends in employer-employee relations”, “a business man looks at industrial relations” and “work-sharing during a depression”. Collective bargaining was also a topic at this conference, and is still a big part of our Labour Relations Foundations program today.

In 1940, our industrial relations training evolved to cover topics of importance like “employee welfare in war time”, “training personnel for industrial occupations” and “labour supply in relation to the war-time needs of industry”.

While the specific needs of those working in labour relations and human resources has changed over the past 85 years, there are many themes that stay the same, such as “problems in group relations” (a topic from a 1940 course). We are still talking about relationships in many of our courses, like Managing Unionized Environments, Building Trust Using Emotional Intelligence, and Strategies for Workplace Conflicts.

In the programme for our short course in Industrial Relations, held on June 10-15, 1940, we can see similarities to our current Labour Relations Foundations program – a full week course, topics presented by a variety of industry experts, readings and small group discussions on each subject (which are then discussed with the full group), and opportunities to network with other professionals facing similar challenges.

From our roots of running annual industrial relations conferences and publishing printed research on industrial relations, to today, running dozens of training programs each year and publishing practitioner-focused articles online, we have been meeting the needs of working professionals for 85 years.

We look forward to continuing with this important work for the next 85 years!

Download our 1938 & 1940 Industrial Relations Programmes to see more!

Queen’s IRC a Winner at the Canadian HR Awards

We are honoured to be the recipient of the HRD Readers’ Choice Award for Best Service Provider! The award acknowledges the contributions of a company or individual with a proven track record of providing the HR industry and/or HR professionals with the superior service, solutions and support needed to perform their duties.

Presented by HRD Canada and Canadian HR Reporter, the annual Canadian HR Awards have been recognized as the leading independent awards program in the HR profession. Several members of the Queen’s IRC team were on hand to accept the award at the ceremony on September 15, 2022 in Toronto, ON.

The awards recognize the nation’s most outstanding HR teams, leaders and employers for their achievements, leadership and innovation for their achievements, best practices and leadership in the HR profession over the past 12 months.

In addition to winning the first award of the evening, Queen’s IRC also had the honour of presenting The Queen’s University IRC Award for Best Learning & Development Strategy. This award recognizes and celebrates the HR team that has delivered the most outstanding organizational benefits by directly linking the training needs of their people, at all levels, to the business needs of their organization. Congratulations to the winner, TransAlta.

Visit us on Facebook to see pictures from the awards ceremony.

See the full list of winners.

Queen’s IRC Program Planner – Spring 2022

Download our Spring 2022 Program Planner (PDF) to learn more about our exciting virtual and in-person training options in 2022!

Program Planner - Spring 2022Take a look at what’s inside:

  • A digital guide to assist in your professional development planning
  • Program details for our new 3-credit Organizational Transformation course
  • Dates, locations and fees for 2022 programs
  • How to earn a Certificate in Advanced Human Resources, Organizational Development or Labour Relations

Download the Program Planner now!

Queen’s IRC Welcomes a New Director

Alison Darling

We are pleased to announce that Alison Darling has been appointed the Director of Professional Programs of Queen’s IRC, effective October 18th, 2021.

Alison is a long-time Queen’s University employee and joins us from the Smith School of Business. She brings to the IRC a demonstrated history of successfully leading teams within the higher education sector. She is skilled in leadership, maximizing operational effectiveness, training delivery, management of multi-national teams, coaching, and teaching. She is also a strong business development professional who holds an Executive MBA from Queen’s.

Alison will take the lead on setting the strategic direction for Queen’s IRC, as well as overseeing business operations, and the financial management of the Centre. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Alison.

Jump into 2021 with a Program from Queen’s IRC

Jump into 2021 with a program from Queen's IRC

Start 2021 off right with a virtual program from Queen’s IRC!

At Queen’s IRC, our professional development programs are led by industry leaders with real-world expertise, and based on over 80 years of experience and best practices that bring results. Virtual programs are delivered live, via Zoom, so everyone can learn and participate together.


Save $300 on 4-5 credit programs and $150 on 2-3 credit programs when you register on or before January 29, 2021. This limited time offer only applies to 2021 programs.

Building Trust in the Workplace (2 Credits)  
March 29-April 1, 2021 (1pm-4:30pm ET)

Change Management (3 Credits)
March 9-12, 2021 (12pm-4pm ET)

Coaching Skills (2 Credits)
May 17-20, 2021 (11am-4pm ET)

HR Metrics and Analytics (3 Credits)
May 3-6, 2021 (10am-3pm ET)

Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy (3 Credits)
March 8-11, 2021 (10am-3pm ET)

Labour Arbitration Skills (4 Credits)
May 31-June 3, 2021 (10am-5pm ET)

Labour Relations Foundations (5 Credits)
March 22-26, 2021 (10am-5pm ET)
June 14-18, 2021 (10am-5pm ET)

Managing Unionized Environments (3 Credits)
February 23-26, 2021 (11:30am-5pm ET)

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation (4 Credits)
April 19-23, 2021 (10am-4:30pm ET)

Negotiation Skills (5 Credits)
April 26-30, 2021 (10am-5pm ET)
July 19-23, 2021 (10am-5pm ET)

Organizational Design (3 Credits)
June 7-11, 2021(11am-3:30pm ET)

Performance Management (2 Credits)
May 10-13, 2021 (1pm-4pm ET)

Strategies for Workplace Conflicts (3 Credits)
March 1-5, 2021 (11am-3pm ET)

Strategic Workforce Planning (2 Credits)
April 7-9, 2021 (1pm-4:30pm ET)

Have questions? Contact one of our program advisors:
Email: IRC@QueensU.ca
Call toll free: 1-888-858-7838

Queen’s IRC Program Prospectus

Queen's IRC Program ProspectusOur Program Prospectus is now available!

Please download the enhanced digital version to learn more about our virtual training options in 2021!

What’s Inside:

  • A digital guide to assist in your professional development planning
  • Program details for our updated OD Foundations course
  • Information on our risk-free registration promise
  • A Certificate explanation section that will greatly aid in learning how to earn one of our prestigious Human Resources, Organizational Development or Labour Relations certificates

Download the Program Prospectus now!

Expectations for Virtual Learning with Queen’s IRC

Expectations for Online Learning with Queen’s IRC Queen’s IRC is delivering synchronous virtual learning, where all participants attend the program live as it happens. In addition to the live sessions, there may be some “homework” or offline work to complete before the next session.

For many virtual programs, we will deliver the training in half or partial days. (ie: A two-day program could be delivered in four half-day blocks.) Some longer programs will stay as full day training due to schedule constraints.

What does a Queen’s IRC virtual seat look like?

Our virtual training will include:

  • Programs delivered over Zoom so everyone can participate in live programs.
  • Presentations from facilitators, coaches and guest speakers.
  • All participants joining the conversation via video and chats.
  • Participation in group activities via the Zoom Room (or similar online platform).
  • A Queen’s IRC program coordinator online during the program to answer logistical questions and help with any issues that may arise.
  • Participation in networking events where applicable.

What do we expect from remote learners?

As a remote learner, we expect you to:

  • Use video, as appropriate, while attending the program and participate actively (ie: join on time, ask questions, complete groupwork, and interact with your fellow participants).
  • Plan ahead. Whenever possible, please have a dedicated working space to participate and engage with the class. We recommend that if you normally use a shared or open workspace, that you make arrangements to use a meeting room, work from home, or other option to give you quiet space for the duration of the course.

We are here for you

In addition to our world-class facilitators and coaches, Queen’s IRC provides a program coordinator onsite for support before, during and after all our in-person programs. This high level of customer service will continue with remote learning. A program coordinator will be online during the program to monitor chats, answer logistical questions, move people into and out of virtual breakout rooms, provide materials/files, and deal with any other issues that may arise.

We are committed to making sure that you can get the most out of the training when participating remotely, and we will do our best to provide the support you. If you encounter an issue, we will:

  • Work diligently to resolve your issue where possible, or find a way to make sure you are still able to capture the learning (ie: provide a recording of the speaker or set up a one-on-one call with the facilitator to help you catch up.)
  • Give you the ability to sign into the next online program delivery free of charge to learn anything you may have missed. (Depending on the program, this will likely be a few months down the road.) You may also choose to attend the next program in-person at a greatly reduced fee.


Participants must attend the entire program in order to receive the program certificate of completion and any credits towards a Queen’s IRC Certificate. There will be no partial credits granted for any program that is not fully completed. If you are unable to complete the program remotely due to illness or networking difficulties, you are able to reattend in the future (in person or remotely) to complete the program and earn full credits. Additional fees may apply.

Register Risk-Free

Planning for the future has never been more challenging than it is today. If you register for an in-person program that is not able to run in-person, we will convert you to a virtual seat, give you the option to defer your enrolment to a time in which we are able to offer the course in-person, transfer your enrolment to another course offered by the IRC, or you can choose to retain a credit on file or receive a refund, if applicable. Rest assured, if you are sick or have another issue that prevents you from attending one of our programs (in person or online), we will work with you to ensure you are able to complete the training at a later time, receive a credit or refund, or substitute a colleague into your seat.

We are fully committed to delivering the exceptional quality of training that you have come to expect from the IRC, regardless of the method in which the course is ultimately delivered.

Community of Practice Webinars and Community Meetings

Community of PracticeQueen’s IRC is pleased to bring you a series of free Community of Practice (COP) webinars and online meetings, to allow the IRC community to connect with our facilitators and discuss burning issues in labour relations, human resources and organizational development.

This is a great opportunity to connect with peers, get advice from our facilitators and learn how to approach today’s new way of working. There will be weekly opportunities to join a session via Zoom. The upcoming sessions are noted below – we expect them to run about 45 minutes each.

The format of each session will vary, and registration will be limited for some sessions. We have a waiting list in place and will schedule additional sessions (on the same topics) based on demand.

There are currently no COP webinars scheduled.


Queen’s IRC response to COVID-19

Queen’s IRC response to COVID-19We hope that you and your colleagues are staying safe during this pandemic. We are grateful for the essential staff in our community who have been working on the front lines to keep us safe, fed and healthy during this time.

Given the current Covid-19 situation, we have cancelled some programs and adjusted our fall 2020 program lineup. These changes are reflected on our website and affected participants have been contacted. We expect to resume in person programming when the government and public health officials advise that it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, the Queen’s IRC team is working diligently to develop remote learning options for some Fall 2020 programs. We are exploring alternate delivery methods and changes to our current models to ensure we are able to continue to help people in organizations during this unprecedented time. Please see our updates on virtual learning here:

We are offering a series of free Community of Practice (COP) webinars, to allow the IRC community to connect with our facilitators and discuss burning issues in labour relations, human resources and organizational development. Information about upcoming COP sessions:

One of the hallmarks of Queen’s IRC programming is face-to-face learning, and we are anxious to get back to the classroom when it is safe to do so. We are highly invested in preserving the participant experience, networking opportunities, learning outcomes and classroom experience our programs are known for, while ensuring that we provide a safe and healthy learning environment.

We will be instituting additional measures to ensure optimal health and hygienic conditions during our programs, including increased distance between participants at tables, access to hand sanitizer and reminders about frequent handwashing, venue cleanliness management, and reminding participants with any symptoms of illness to stay at home.

Queen’s IRC is in regular contact with our university and venue partners and we continue to monitor the situation as it progresses. Further information is available from Queen’s University on the current situation at: https://www.queensu.ca/covidinfo/.

If you have any questions or concerns in regards to IRC programming or your registration, we encourage you to contact our team at IRC@QueensU.ca.

Please stay safe and stay home!


Stephanie Noel
Queen’s University IRC























Queen’s IRC Spring 2020-Spring 2021 Program Planner

We are pleased to announce our Spring 2020-Spring 2021 Program Planner is ready to be downloaded. It details all of our foundational and advanced programs and our certificate series.

Download our Spring 2020-Spring 2021 Program Planner now!

Download Brochure What’s inside:

  • Program dates, locations and fees
  • Detailed description of our entire program lineup
  • The Human Resources & Labour Relations Certificate Roadmaps
  • Information about creating a custom program for your organization
  • 18-Month program calendar

Check out our new program planner: Download

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