12 years ago, Osgoode Professional Development embarked upon a unique program that would capture the imagination of human resources professionals and be a catalyst for other programs.

HR Law for HR Professionals Certificate – Development and Design of Signature Program

In March 2012, Osgoode launched its 5-day Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals, an inaugural program accredited by the HRPA and sponsored by Canadian HR Reporter.  At the helm Program Director Stuart Rudner, founder of Rudner Law who, together with an Advisory Board comprising senior lawyers and leading HR professionals, constructed a dynamic and focused new course for HR professionals.

This inaugural program took a deep dive into the issues most relevant to human resources professionals, including navigating the Employment Standards Act, Equity, Diversity and Accommodation, Workplace Investigations and Terminating the Employment Relationship. Classes were taught using a blended delivery method, that included lectures, case studies and group and class discussions. The focus was on the practical, with ample time devoted to answering questions. Students were also canvassed after each day to give their feedback – what they liked about the program, what they didn’t like, and importantly, what was missing.

In the years that followed, Stuart was joined as co-Program Director by Natalie MacDonald, founder of MacDonald & Associates and the program has constantly evolved to reflect the changing demands on HR professionals. Today’s program focuses on the problems and pitfalls to avoid in the hiring process; tackling workplace harassment, discrimination, and bullying; conducting legally compliant workplace investigations and confronting the challenges posed by social media in the workplace.

A Catalyst for an Advanced Program – Adopting a Strategic Approach

Soon there were calls from students for a more advanced course. Osgoode responded to fill this gap, and the Osgoode Certificate in Advanced Human Resources Law for Senior HR Executives was created.  Working with HR day in and day out, Natalie and Stuart know the challenges that they face, and they devised a course that was more interactive and designed to help them adopt a strategic approach to human resources, understand the core legal principles that govern their actions, and importantly, how to avoid costly missteps.

Providing the Impetus for New Programs

David Thomas, Program Lawyer at Osgoode Professional Development knows the challenges posed when constructing a new certificate program.

“Often the biggest challenge when building a curriculum from the ground up is getting the right balance” says Thomas. “Are the key topics covered in sufficient depth? What, if anything, is missing? What should be the focus? What are the learning objectives? Who should be the teaching faculty?   

“Sometimes in the course of these deliberations and taking account of the feedback we receive from our current students we are able to identify gaps that can eventually lead to the development of completely new program”.

In this way, the award-winning Osgoode Certificate in Labour Law (Program Director, John Craig, Mathews Dinsdale and Clark LLP), the Osgoode Certificate in Workplace Mental Health Law (Program Directors Brian Gottheil and Lauren Bernardi of Bernardi Human Resource Law) and the Osgoode Advanced Certificate in Workplace Investigations (Program Director Lauren Bernardi of Bernardi Human Resource Law)came about.

The wide range of offerings revealsthat Osgoode Professional Development’s programs are continuing to meet the needs of today’s HR professionals.

Upcoming programs in Human Resources and Labour/Employment Law:

The Osgoode Certificate in Labour Law
Mar 7, 21, 28 & Apr 4 & 18, 2023

The Osgoode Certificate in Human Resources Law for HR Professionals
Mar 28 & Apr 4, 19, 26 & May 3, 2023

To preview program content, visit: osgoodepd.ca/cert-hrpa

This blog is a guest post, authored by David Thomas, Program Lawyer, Osgoode Professional Development.