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Education

FOAJ offers a variety courses on a regular schedule throughout the year, most qualify for the Certificate in Tribunal Administrative Justice.  Regular education days are scheduled in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.  See our calendar on the right hand side for scheduled events in your area.

CTAJ™ Courses
Other Courses
 

To register online click the “Register” button to the right or for pdf version click here and submit by email: info@foaj.ca or fax: 780-466-8015.

If you are interested in a course that is not offered at your desired location and date, email info@foaj.ca with your name, email, phone, course name, and preferred date / location.  If we receive enough requests we can offer an additional course.

To view our policies on cancellation, privacy & GST, click here.

Certificate in Tribunal Administrative Justice™ Courses

Principles of Administrative Justice 
Principles of Administrative Justice is a two-day introductory or refresher course for administrative tribunal appointees, staff and advocates.  It is prepared and delivered by tribunal members.  This course is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of their broader role and responsibilities of tribunal members and tribunal processes. (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Principles of Administrative Justice video here.

Workshop Objectives – After this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the focus of administrative law
  • Distinguish procedures from content of administrative  decisions
  • List the three basic elements of the duty to be fair
  • List the potential elements of the right to know the case and reply,  and be able to recognize and discuss potential issues in fact situations
  • Describe the test for bias in administrative law
  • Describe the purpose of “he/she who hears the case must decide it,” and identify potential issues

Workshop Outcomes – Participants will take away:

  • 3 key principles of fairness
  • tools to naturalize consistency in applying fairness
  • experience in analyzing scenarios to identify fairness requirements
  • basic understanding of evidence and tools for admitting evidence
  • awareness of a dependable process for decision making designed to reach a logical decision based on the legislation and facts
  • tips and tools to examine written decisions
  • confidence in their role
  • a self-learning plan.

$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Interpreting Legislation
This two-day course introduces a method (a process and a template) for interpreting Acts, Regulations, bylaws, policies and contracts.  The method, based on the Supreme Court of Canada’s modern approach to interpretation, combines theory with practice and gives participants a sound foundation to tackle interpretation questions.  The course will include:  what you need to know before starting to interpret legislation; how to unravel complicated text; techniques to resolve different interpretation questions, and a template for tackling the interpretation of legislation.  (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Interpreting Legislation video here.

The objectives of this course are to:

  • introduce the modern method and template
  • build confidence in using the modern method and template
  • interpret legislative text using the modern method of interpretation
  • develop clear reasons for interpretation decisions linked to the template

Workshop Outcomes – Participants will take away:

  • a modern method template
  • tools aid in interpretation of legislation, policy and contracts
  • experience in analyzing and interpreting legislation
  • experience integrating a dependable process for interpretation designed to reach a defendable decision based on the legislation
  • confidence in making understandable and defendable interpretation decisions
  • a self-learning plan.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Decision Making
Solid decision making is the key to well written decisions. This two-day workshop gives participants a structure for and experience with a practical decision making process. Participants work with a model for decision making to gain confidence in its use. The course covers key elements of solid decision making:  identifying and framing the issues, interpreting the legislation, identifying and applying the relevant legal tests, sorting and weighing the evidence, and applying the relevant facts to the legislation. This course is a must for any decision maker.  The workshop includes large and small group discussion and exercises.  (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Decision Making video here.

Workshop Purposes:

  • To provide a logical framework to decision making.
  • To work with a decision making model.
  • To build competencies in defensible decision making.

Workshop Outcomes – Participants will take away:

  • appreciation of different styles of decision making
  • a decision making model and template
  • tools to naturalize consistency in decision making
  • experience in analyzing legislation to identify issues and the applicable legal tests
  • tools to evaluate evidence to reach findings of fact
  • experience integrating a dependable process for decision making designed to reach a logical decision based on the legislation and facts
  • membership in a network of fellow decision makers
  • tips and tools to enhance their decision making experiences
  • confidence in making understandable and defendable decisions
  • a self-learning plan.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice & Evidence
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Decision Writing
Decision Writing is a two-day workshop building on the decision-writing module in the Introduction to Administrative Justice course.  The focus is to assist tribunal members to acquire writing skills directly relevant to them.  The workshop will help participants bring a reader oriented perspective to writing decisions; organize and revise decisions to enhance logic and flow; write clear, concise and coherent decisions; and gain confidence in decision writing within their tribunal context.  Participants will practice particular skills and techniques through focused writing exercises and by drafting or revising a decision.  They will receive feedback on their exercises from an instructor.  The workshop will include large and small group discussion and exercises. (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Decision Writing video here.

Workshop Purposes:

  • To develop the writing skills directly relevant to tribunal members and staff.
  • To bring a reader oriented perspective to writing decisions
  • To make written decisions readable, understandable and transparent.

Workshop Outcomes – Participants will take away:

  • tools to assess their audience
  • tips and a format to enhance logic in reasons
  • four basic tips to make their decisions easier to understand
  • tips about how much evidence and argument to include
  • resources to aide in writing clear decisions
  • stronger familiarity with your own writing style
  • personal feedback on their writing skills
  • confidence in writing decisions.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice, Evidence, & Decision Making
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Evidence
Evidence is a two-day intermediate evidence course for those familiar with the law of evidence presented in the evidence component in Principles of Administrative Justice course.

The focus is to assist tribunal members, administrators and advocates acquire additional skills and tools related to working with gathering, admitting and weighing evidence.  Through lecture and large and small group exercises, participants will practice dealing with evidentiary applications and common evidentiary issues, such as relevance and admissibility of evidence and assessing credibility within their tribunal context.   (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Evidence video here.

Workshop Purposes:

  • To provide tips and tools for common evidentiary matters facing tribunals.
  • To work with evidence before, during and after the hearing.
  • To build competencies in dealing with evidentiary matters.

Workshop Outcomes – Participants will take away:

  • an understanding of the standard of proof and the burden of proof
  • tips and tools for effectively dealing with evidence before, during and after a hearing
  • procedures to resolve common evidentiary applications in fact situations
  • a process for compelling the attendance of witness and the production of documents, where allowed
  • tips about an affidavit, its uses and limitations
  • experience in analyzing legislation to identify relevant evidence to meet the applicable legal tests
  • tools to evaluate evidence to reach findings of fact
  • membership in a network of fellow decision makers
  • a self-learning plan.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Effective Witnesses (aka Giving Evidence)
Effective Witnesses is a one-day course to familiarize advocates and witnesses with the basic tools to prepare productive witnesses in the hearing context. Participants practice preparing for and giving evidence in a hearing. Whether you are an advocate, a person who testifies multiple times and in different capacities or a one time witnesses, this course will make you more confident and comfortable with presenting evidence before a tribunal.  (7 Education Credits)

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice
$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members

Presenting Cases Before Tribunals
Presenting Cases is a two day hands on skill building experience.  The participants learn what and how to prepare an effective case before a tribunal or decision maker. They discover what matters to decision makers. They take away tips, practice guides, and forms. This workshop will be particularly useful for staff or advocates who appear before tribunals.  (14 Education Credits)


Watch the Presenting Cases Before Tribunals video here.

Purpose:  To develop your case presentation skills and to make your presentations more effective and successful.

Participants will take away:

  • three key principles to ensure fairness in hearings
  • 6 things to consider and 12 questions to ask when preparing for the hearing
  • a format to organize your materials for ease of presentation
  • tips to identify potential questions for the evidence
  • a checklist for an opening statement for your case
  • 5 key things to include a closing argument for your case
  • confidence in presenting cases.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training: Principles of Administrative Justice
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Effective Hearings
Building on the basic Introduction to Administrative Justice course, this two-day workshop helps tribunal members to acquire the skills necessary to conduct hearings within the context of an administrative tribunal.  It will assist participants appreciate fair hearing principles; refresh the guidelines for admitting evidence; recognize issues that arise in hearings; conduct hearings more effectively; and gain confidence in conducting hearings within their tribunal context.  Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and group exercises, Day 1 of the workshop provides participants with the information and tools necessary to conduct fair and effective hearings.  On Day 2, the participants will practice their skills in mock hearings.  (14 Education Credits)

Workshop Purposes 

  • To provide a framework to conduct fair hearings.
  • To build skills for chairing hearings.

Workshop Outcomes 

  • tips to prepare and present  opening & closing comments
  • tips for dealing with hearing decorum and difficult parties
  • a process to deal with two common evidentiary concerns in a hearing
  • a process to handle common procedural matters in a hearing
  • techniques for dealing with self-represented parties
  • confidence in their skills to conduct a hearing.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training: Principles of Administrative Justice & Evidence
$1,070 Members / $1,320.00 Non Members

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Case Management Practices
This one-day workshop focuses on how the tribunal processes and its practices impact the hearing calendar and the tribunal’s case load. How do you manage heavy case loads? Reduce hearing time? Balance client and budgetary demands? Deal with difficult clients? Improve settlement rates? Improve tribunal stakeholder relations? This course touches on all these items.  It includes tips and strategies for meeting case management challenges.  (7 Education Credits)

Workshop Purposes:

  • To apply a structured approach to designing or amending a case management system for a tribunal.
  • To troubleshoot case management issues for a tribunal.
  • To identify strategies to meet case management challenges.
  • To implement case management strategies to improve the tribunal case management system.

Workshop Outcomes:

  • tools to evaluate and enhance their case management processes and systems
  • confidence in troubleshooting case management challenges
  • a self-learning plan.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training:  Principles of Administrative Justice
$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members

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Plain Language for Writing Decisions
Plain Language for Decision Writing is a one-day workshop building on the decision-writing module in the Introduction to Administrative Justice course.  The focus is to assist tribunal members to acquire writing skills directly relevant to them.  The workshop will help participants bring a reader-oriented perspective to writing decisions. Exercises, class discussion, and before- and-after models will contribute to participants’ learning.  The workshop will also teach a method for making the process of writing more efficient and less frustrating and will cover formatting for readability.  (7 Education Credits)

Workshop Purposes:

  • To show the importance of plain language to the reader
  • To give decision writers specific tools for writing in plain language
  • To model plain-language writing using before and after documents
  • To train writers in an approach that will help them generate clearer, more reader-friendly      decisions.

Workshop Outcomes:

  • The CLARITY model for writing and editing
  • tools to write concisely and precisely
  • tools to change passive verbs to active verbs
  • format tips for readability of documents
  • guidance for making the writing process more efficient
  • tools to organize documents
  • awareness of the needs of their audiences
  • a refresher on rules of punctuation
  • skills to write in a more vivid and engaging way.

Recommended prior FOAJ Training: Principles of Administrative Justice
$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members

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Professional Development Courses

Cultural Competencies

A national priority for a changing world.

This one day workshop is designed to engage participants in intermediate to advanced discussions about a topic of national importance to tribunals and decision makers.

Canadians are diverse in their racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds, representing over 200 ethnic groups. A tribunal’s success is influenced by its ability to work effectively in this environment.  Decision makers and staff need the appropriate skills and tools to be proactive.

Culture competence affects fairness, ethical conduct, and fact-based decision making.  This workshop will help you understand more about the meaning and relevance of “cultural competence” and more about the nature of culture and its potential impact on behaviour. Tribunals and restorative justice groups can become more competent and aware of how to resolve conflicts between diverse and Aboriginal cultures.

Attendees will examine the possible effect of cultural differences on judging witnesses, assessing evidence, conducting a fair proceeding, decision making and decision writing.  Participants will have an opportunity to identify best practices in dealing with issues of diversity in a tribunal’s handling of its hearings, mediations and other proceedings.

For course objectives, Agenda and Facilitators click here.

$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members
$850 Chamber of Commerce and SATA Members

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Single Adjudicator’s Clinic
This one day clinic is for all decision makers who work alone, with or without staff assistance.  You will examine a series of case studies to cover pre-hearing, hearing and post hearing matters.

Process challenges arise for every decision maker, but may appear more difficult when you are working alone.  Are self-represented parties more difficult before a single adjudicator?  How do you deal with disclosure and evidentiary issues?  What do you do when what you intend to decide differs from how other adjudicators have decided on the same issue?  Should you share pertinent information or previous cases you know with the parties? What works well to manage logistics?  Do single adjudicators panic and if so, how do they overcome the panic?  In addition to sharing with experienced course leaders, you can share with and learn from your colleagues in other tribunals.   No exam.  This is a valuable course.  It does not qualify for certificate hours.

Clinic Purposes:

  • To enhance your tools and skills to work as a single adjudicator
  • To provide tips and tools for single adjudicators
  • To identify resources for single adjudicators.

Clinic Outcomes:

  •  confirmation of the restraints and powers given to a decision maker in the legislation.
  • tips for a decision maker when dealing with video evidence.
  • understanding of the decision maker’s role when acting as mediator or case manager before a hearing.
  • techniques to deal with party conduct.
  • techniques to deal with self represented parties.
  • resources to deal with constitutional and charter challenges.
  • resources to deal with interpretation and evidentiary questions.
  • resources to deal with decision writing questions.
  • a network of colleagues to consult on new and difficult situations
  • confidence in working as a single adjudicator.

Prerequisite:  Must be CTAJ™ Certified & 3 years of experience in the field.
$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members

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Different Types of Reasons for Different Types of Cases
This one-day workshop continues discussion from and builds on the skills developed in Decision Making and Decision Writing.   The Courts increasingly focus on the quantity and quality of reasons in administrative tribunal decisions.  Yet tribunals are required to balance this obligation for reasons against fairness, efficiency and limited resources.   The workshop will include best practices for approaches to writing clear, concise and complete reasons for different types of cases – eg. mostly fact finding, mostly legal issues, many witnesses, many documents, multiple issues, unrepresented parties, controversial cases etc.  

Learning Objectives

  • to identify critical aspects of adequate reasons
  • to develop best practices for writing reasons
  • to enhance confidnce in writing reasons.

Prerequisite:  Must be CTAJ™ Certified & 3 years of experience in the field.
$850 Members / $1,100 Non Members

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