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Queen's University IRC

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation

Building Internal Capacity to Effectively Deal with Workplace Complaints

4 CREDITS

LEARNING MODEL: IN-PERSON & VIRTUAL 

INTRODUCTION

According to research conducted by Queen’s IRC, today’s labour relations practitioners are spending an increasing amount of time — up to 25 percent of their efforts — conducting formal and informal investigations of workplace complaints. The complaints may relate to harassment, conflicts of interest, discrimination, whistle blowing, or many other difficult types of cases, and are partly a response to tougher human rights and occupational health and safety laws. But research also shows that many HR managers and LR practitioners, including union representatives, feel they are inadequately prepared for the rigours of investigating complaints. This program gives LR Practitioners hands-on training on how to assemble the facts of a case without worsening the situation.

DATE, LOCATION & FEE

PROGRAM DATE LOCATION VENUE REGISTRATION END DATE FEE
Mar 07 - Mar 10, 2023 Victoria Details will be provided after registration. Mar 02 $4895
Jun 20 - Jun 23, 2023 Calgary Details will be provided after registration. Jun 15 $4,895
Sep 25 - Sep 29, 2023 Virtual Zoom Link will be provided after registration Sep 22 $4,295

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

ORGANIZATIONAL BENEFITS

TAKEAWAY TOOLS

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Download a brochure

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Our module-by-module overview introduces the topics that will be explored in depth over the course of the program.

Module 1: Introduction to Fact-Finding
  • Identify the key elements of a formal fact-finding/investigation
  • Understand the importance of the four stages of fact-finding
  • Explain the legal framework, key procedural aspects, and principles of investigation
  • Apply the principles of fairness to an investigation
  • Effectively use the organizational policy
Module 2: Pre-Screening Complaints
  • Explore the range of options to handle a complaint
  • Utilize pre-screening templates
  • Complete preliminary informal fact-finding to ascertain the nature of the dispute
  • Develop and confirm a mandate
Module 3: Preparing a Plan
  • Identify the components of an effective plan
  • Understand the process of notifying parties and witnesses
  • Utilize a step-by-step guide to plan an investigation
  • Craft essential questions
Module 4: Gathering and Documenting Evidence
  • Identify the rules of evidence
  • Recognize the different methods of documentation
  • Understand issues surrounding documentation
  • Consider the criteria for selecting sources of evidence
  • Describe the dos and don’ts of reporting the evidence
Module 5: The Art and Science of Interviewing
  • Plan for an interview
  • Open and close an interview
  • Recognize special issues in interviewing
  • Identify techniques to handle difficult witness behaviours
  • Practice conducting interviews in a simulated setting
  • Explore credibility – guest presentation
Module 6: Reporting Your Findings
  • Review, compile and organize evidence
  • Assess and determine factual allegations based on relevant evidence
  • Assess and determine issues based on factual findings
  • Describe the essential components of an investigative report
  • Compile and analyze evidence from simulation
  • Compare simulation results to a sample fact-finding report
Module 7: Post Investigation Considerations
  • Explain the importance of notifying parties and witnesses
  • Explore ways to follow through after an investigation
  • Recognize and address on-going workplace issues
  • Deepen understanding of learning from an investigation
Module 8: Pitfalls and Hurdles
  • Critically review a fact-finding report
  • Identify the common barriers to an effective fact-finding
  • Describe techniques and strategies to ensure consistent results
  • Understand the legal ramifications of investigations
  • Identify ways to add value to the process
Module 9: Restoring the Workplace
  • Understand the importance of the four stages of restoration
  • Craft workplace restoration objectives
  • Develop strategies to assess, plan, implement, monitor, and follow up

FACILITATORS AND SPEAKERS

Devan Corrigan

Lead Facilitator

Deborah Hudson

Speaker
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Devan Corrigan

Devan Corrigan is an expert in workplace investigations and labour relations, having spent 20 years in human resources management and labour relations before founding an HR consulting company in 2017. His firm specializes in conducting workplace investigations including investigating complaints of harassment, sexual harassment, violence in the workplace, and other forms of employee misconduct.

He holds a Master of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University as well as an Honours Degree in Psychology and a certificate in Human Resources Management from Saint Mary’s University.

Devan’s expertise in human resources and labour relations, combined with his background in psychology, make him a go-to third-party workplace investigator. He is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators and is on the roster for investigators for the Workplace Investigator Network (WIN).

Prior to starting his own firm, Devan held management positions for large organizations including Resolute Forest Products, Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada Post Corporation, and Glencore Canada Corporation.

Devan is passionate about leading and coaching individuals and organizations in topics related to human resources management, workplace investigations, and labour relations. He provides training to a variety of organizations on topics such as conducting internal investigations, respect in the workplace, as well as effective communication skills for leaders. Devan is the lead facilitator for the Queen’s IRC Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation program.

Devan has authored publications touching on various matters related to workplace investigations including published articles for Queen’s IRC: “Reducing Participant Stress Before a Workplace Investigation” and “The Myth of Body Language as a Credibility Assessor.”

Deborah Hudson

Deborah Hudson is the founding lawyer at Hudson Law, where she represents both employers and employees in all aspects of labour and employment law.  Since 2008, she has practiced law exclusively in the areas of labour and employment. She spent the first eight years of her career at a prominent management-side firm, and then spent several years at another boutique workplace law firm where she broadened her practice areas (to include employee side counsel and workplace investigations).     

Deborah provides her clients with practical, timely and highly specialized legal advice. She regularly advises both employers and employees in relation to matters occurring at all stages of the employment relationship.  She values the importance of early and productive resolution discussions when beneficial and appropriate. In circumstances where resolution is not achievable or advantageous, Deborah advocates on behalf of her clients in all legal forums.  Deborah also conducts workplace investigations as an external, independent investigator relating to various workplace circumstances and allegations including harassment/bullying, human rights matters, privacy breaches and fraud.  

Deborah has authored and contributed to a number of publications touching on various labour relations and employment law matters.  Deborah has previously published three articles for Queen’s IRC: “Workplace Bullying and Harassment: Costly Conduct” in 2015; “Invisible Barriers: Accommodating Mental Illness in the Workplace” in 2016; “The Golden Years: The Aging Workforce and Human Rights Matters” in 2017; “Workplace Harassment After #MeToo” in 2018; and “Fireable Offences Without Defences” in 2019.  Deborah was a contributing author of Startup Law 101: A Practical Guide (2017), the Ontario Human Rights Code:  Quick Reference – 2015 Edition, Accommodation Issues in the Workplace (2014), and Halsbury’s Labour Laws of Canada.