Foundations in Adjudicative Tribunal Competencies Certificate Program

Foundations in Adjudicative Tribunal Competencies

Are you starting to think about the next step in your legal career? There is no better time to start enhancing the skills that directly align with that career goal. Not yet ready to reveal your ambition to your friends and colleagues? The on-line learning format is the perfect way to further your goal from the comfort and privacy of your home or office.    

Dedicate a few lunch-time hours to strengthen your resume with the OBA’s online Certificate Program - Foundations in Adjudicative Tribunal Competencies.  This new certificate program is designed to help you understand what to expect from the selection process and helps you build a solid foundation of the skills and core competencies fundamental to any adjudicative tribunal member role.    

The first session provides an overview of the application and appointment process for federal, provincial or municipal administrative tribunals.  Hear directly from Lindsay E. Hitchcock, Deputy Director of Appointments, Privy Council Office, former Attorney General Yasir Naqvi and Robyn Cook, Acting Manager, Public Appointment Secretariat, City of Toronto, offering their practical insight into these processes. The remaining sessions explore the essential skills of successful administrative tribunal members, namely:  

  • Managing the Hearing Room: Setting the Stage, Interactions with Counsel, Witnesses, the Public and Staff 

  • Accessibility and the Tribunal Hearing 

  • Traits of Successful Adjudicators: Impartiality, Independence and Integrity 

  • Exploring Unconscious Bias, Raising Awareness and Cultural Sensitivity  

  • Basics of Adjudicative Reasoning 

  • Basics of Adjudicative Decision Writing  

  • Insights from Reconsiderations and Appeals 

Deepen your knowledge in several core area administrative decision-making areas.  Gain unparalleled insight from distinguished members of administrative tribunals on how they overcome challenging aspects of these core competencies and continue to remain focused on the important tenants of their role.   

Upon completion of all eight sessions, you will be presented with a Certificate in Foundations in Adjudicative Tribunal Competencies.   We want to help you position yourself to be an attractive candidate from the privacy of your own home or office.   

Applying to an Appointment on an Administrative Tribunal

Session 1 - Wednesday, July 14, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)

The first session provides an overview of the application and appointment process for federal, provincial and municipal tribunal vacancies.  Learn about the difference between these adjudicative bodies and how to apply for them.  Our panelists will discuss considerations for your applications, what will help you stand out as a candidate and how to make a persuasive application using your prior experiences and references.

Managing the Hearing Room: Setting the Stage, Interactions with Counsel, Witnesses, the Public and Staff

Session 2 - Wednesday, July 21, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

An organized hearing room leads to an organized proceeding. Managing the hearing room is key to a successful hearing. Join our panel as they discuss best practices for interactions with counsel, witness, the public and staff, in person and online. Learn how to deal with unexpected issues, difficult counsel and witnesses, with professionalism and fairness.

Accessibility and the Tribunal Hearing

Session 3 - Wednesday, July 28, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Ensuring equality before a Tribunal requires awareness and insights on disability and accessibility issues faced by those appearing before you. Whether dealing with mental health issues or physical disabilities understanding those in your hearing room can result in more effective time management and help facilitate a fair hearing. Join our panel of experts to hear an update on Tribunal accessibility/accommodations, how tribunals manage accessibility/accommodation requests and challenges adjudicators may face with self-represented parties with varying abilities.

Traits of Successful Adjudicators: Impartiality, Independence and Integrity

Session 4 - Wednesday, August 11, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Administrative adjudicators must be impartial, independent and exhibit integrity in all stages of their decision making. Learn the difficult task of practicing independence as an adjudicator, establish integrity and ensure diligence in your conduct and decisions. We will hear from a panel of experts that will discuss the difficulties and opportunities with these three key issues

Exploring Unconscious Bias, Raising Awareness and Cultural Sensitivity

Session 5 - Wednesday, August 18, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Everyone carries their own unconscious bias in their day to day lives. Successful adjudicators must be aware of and responsive to their own unconscious bias to ensure decisions are based on fact not fiction. Join our panel of experts as they discuss the role of unconscious bias in our lives, how to become more aware of it and how to be more sensitive to those from different cultures and backgrounds then your own.

Basics of Administrative Law Reasoning

Session 6 - Wednesday, August 25, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)

At its core, adjudicative reasoning is the way in which Tribunal members reach a conclusion or result in their hearings.  This is an essential part of the adjudicator’s function.  Our distinguished panel will share their adjudicative reasoning methods and styles.  Learn the steps adjudicators take once they receive material, considerations that must be continually at the forefront and the differences between administrative and civil processes.  They will also provide their unique perspective on best practices and useful supports which help them ensure their success as adjudicators.

Basics of Adjudicative Decision Writing

Session 7 - Wednesday, September 1, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Writing a decision on a matter differs significantly from writing an argument to persuade an adjudicator. Join us for this informative session on how to excel in decision writing. Hear directly from experts on how to ensure your decisions are fair, clearly written and accurately outline the relevant facts, applicable rules of law and provide a detailed analysis of its reasons for the conclusions reached. Our distinguished panel will share their personal approaches to decision writing and provide insight into their own writing style and technique. They will also provide their unique perspective on best practices and useful supports which help them build on perfecting this craft.

Insights from Reconsiderations and Appeals

Session 8 - Wednesday, September 15, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Successful reconsiderations and appeals can cause angst for even the most seasoned adjudicators. Learn the reconsideration and appeal process and what it means if your decision is overturned. What lessons can be learned and how can you ensure your decisions withstand the test of time. Join our panel of experts as they explain that reconsiderations and appeals may not always be a bad thing.