Workplace Investigations Training and Certificate Program -Full

Date and Time

Starts:02/01/2021 9:30 AM

Ends:02/11/2021 4:30 PM

Event Type: Certificate

Training: 21 CPD;
Report: 4 CPD (Subcategory A4. Self-directed Learning) Hour(s)

Partner's Virtual Platform


HRPA Members:
$1950 + Taxes
$2360 + Taxes
Join HRPA Now

Important: You must complete and pass the report writing in order to receive the certificate.


Additional Information

Event Sponsor

We've reached maximum capacity for this event. Please register for the upcoming program in March

Please note: Lawyers in private practice who are not members of HRPA are not eligible to participate in this program.


With expanding legal duties surrounding workplace harassment investigations, it has become crucial to conduct legally sound investigations. Improper or incomplete investigations cost money and time and can erode credibility. Unfortunately, the consequences of an improper investigation can be dire including reaching the wrong result, having difficulty supporting an outcome, or even facing legal action or a complaint to the Ministry of Labour.

The Workplace Investigations Training & Certificate Program is an in-depth program that effectively equips participants with the ability to recognize, investigate and report the findings of complex workplace investigations.

This certificate program will be hosted by one of several experts from Bernardi Human Resource Law LLP.

The program covers:

  •  Legal issues surrounding investigations including requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario Human Rights Code and common law.
  • The psychology of workplace and sexual harassment including the psychological dynamics, contributors to harassment, bystander interventions and the role of managers.
  • The practical application of conducting workplace investigations including rules of evidence, interviewing tips, note taking and report writing.

This is a very hands-on, practical course and participants will walk away with checklists, tools and forms to enable them to immediately apply their knowledge and skills. The program uses a case-study approach to honing participants' investigation and reporting skills and participants will be assessed on their report writing skills.

The Workplace Investigations Training & Certificate will cover:

  • Knowing the law; when you must investigate and when other approaches may be better. Understanding the psychology; the victim and bullying styles and types.
  • Conducting fair and comprehensive investigations; duty of fairness, rules of evidence and getting beyond "he said, she said."
  • Detecting deception through credibility assessments and statement analysis.
  • How to minimize bias in the investigation process.
  • Writing a report that will withstand legal scrutiny.


The Online Format

The online format of the course remains extremely hands-on and interactive and includes case studies, role plays, quizzes, and large and small group discussions. Role plays and small group discussions are done using the "breakout rooms" feature of Zoom.

The program runs over a two-week period and includes eight, 2-hour online sessions. The online instruction sessions are designed with plenty of group discussions and interactive activities, which are essential to participant learning. To make the most of the online sessions for all learners, participants should expect to dedicate time outside of class to independently complete preparatory assignments. . This work includes readings, watching and commenting on videos, a writing exercise, and preparation for a role play. This independent work should take no more than 30 minutes for each of the first two days of the course, and no more than 60 minutes for each of the last two days.

Below is an overview of the agenda for the online course:

Module 1 - Monday, February 1, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Introduction & The Law of Harassment

Module 2 - Monday, February 1, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): "What's Really Going On?": The Psychology and Dynamics of Harassment

Module 3 -Thursday, February 4, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Procedural Fairness and Basic Investigation Procedures

Module 4 -Thursday, February 4, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Additional Investigation Procedures, Special Situations, and Interview Preparation

Module 5 - Monday, February 8, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Interview Questions and Techniques

Module 6 - Monday, February 8, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Assessing Credibility and Weighing Evidence

Module 7 - Thursday, February 11, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Factual Findings

Module 8 - Thursday, February 11, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Legal Conclusions and Report Writing

The Assignment

In order to receive a certificate for completing the course, participants will be expected to submit a complete workplace investigation report based on a case study from the class. The focus of the report assignment will be on participants' ability to analyze the case study scenario, make findings in three key areas (credibility assessments, factual findings and legal conclusions), and articulate their analysis and findings. Reports will be submitted approximately one month after the course ends and will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Additional details of the report assignment will be provided during the course.

The Workplace Investigations Certificate Program has been approved by Law Society of Ontario for 2.5 Professionalism and 18 Substantive Hours.

To determine if your company qualifies to cover the cost of this program, click here.

After completing the HRPA's Workplace Investigations Certificate Program, and as a next step on your learning path to a deeper knowledge on advanced level, we recommend The Osgoode Advanced Certificate in Workplace Investigations. Please click here to learn more.

Speaker bio(s)
Lauren Bernardi, Lawyer, HR Advisor

Since 1992, Lauren Bernardi has been providing strategic advice and representation in the in the increasingly complex area of human resource law. Lauren works extensively in the field of workplace respect, harassment and violence. She frequently conducts Respect in the Workplace training sessions for employees, managers and municipal councils; represents employers and employees in human rights complaints; prepares harassment and code of conduct policies; provides individual sensitivity training; and investigates and resolves internal harassment complaints.

Described as an “exceptional speaker who explains the law in terms that everyone can understand”, Lauren has presented sessions to thousands of individuals on a wide variety of topics but with a particular emphasis on workplace respect, harassment and violence.

As an investigator, Lauren has been retained to conduct investigations into a wide variety of issues including sexual harassment, sexual assault, psychological harassment/bullying, poisoned work environments and allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, religion and family status. Lauren has also been involved in investigations of elected officials including mayors and municipal councilors.

Both complainants and respondents have expressed gratitude for the manner in which Lauren conducts her investigations. She is a trusted and well-respected investigator.

Brian Gottheil, Lawyer and HR Advisor

After clerking for the Federal Court of Canada, Brian practiced for more than three years with the employment and labour law department of a large international law firm before joining Bernardi Human Resource Law in 2014.

Since joining the firm, Brian has conducted numerous workplace investigations involving such varied issues as psychological harassment, manager and team relations, non-profit governance and sexual harassment. He has experience in advising employers and conducting investigations in both unionized and non-union environments.

Brian also trains managers, supervisors and human resource professionals on conducting workplace harassment investigations as a frequent instructor for the Workplace Investigations Certificate program.

Asha Rampersad

Asha joined Bernardi Human Resource Law LLP in 2015 and her main areas of practice include human rights litigation and accommodation issues as well as workplace investigations.

Equipped with several years of teaching experience at the university level, and conducting numerous training sessions for human resource professionals, Asha has significant expertise in delivering training to both employers and employees on all facets of employment and labour law, including collective agreement interpretation. Asha has been quoted in the Law Time regarding the employer’s duty to investigate, and has been published in an Accessibility magazine regarding employers’ AODA obligations.

Asha has conducted numerous complex investigations including sexual assault, sexual harassment and workplace bullying. She is very sensitive to the needs of all parties to the investigation process.

Alison Renton

Alison joined the firm in 2017 after spending almost 9 years as Vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Prior to her tenure with the HRTO, Alison spent 11 years as legal counsel with the LCBO. She also previously worked with several boutique labour and employment law firms where she appeared before a wide range of employment and labour related courts and tribunals.

During her time with the HRTO, Alison gained invaluable experience in workplace discrimination and harassment issues including adjudicating and mediating hundreds of human rights complaints. Alison’s vast experience makes her particularly adept at recognizing what is and is not harassment and discrimination, assessing credibility and providing recommendations for remediation.

In addition to conducting workplace investigations, Alison also provides mediation and workplace restoration services.

Natasha Savoline, Lawyer & Human Resource Advisor

Natasha’s passion for fairness and creative positive and respectful workplaces informs her work as an experienced workplace investigator in areas such as harassment, discrimination, violence and code of conduct violations.

Always sensitive and respectful of the parties involved as well as the integrity of the process, participants often express appreciation to Natasha for the comfort and ease she brings to their experience.

Natasha’s experience as a workplace investigator and facilitator of respect in the workplace training has provided her with a valuable perspective and wealth of knowledge regarding the dynamics that cause workplace relationships to fail, as well as the emotions and catalysts that underlie complaints and incidents of workplace harassment and bullying. She uses her knowledge and skills to connect with employees in these dysfunctional workplace relationships and help achieve positive and respectful workplaces through on-on-one coaching, mediation and work with teams.