Harassment Prevention and Resolution Office

The mission of the ÉTS Harassment Prevention and Resolution Office (HPRO) is to help make ÉTS an open-minded and respectful environment in which to live, study and work; in which each person feels welcomed and respected; and in which diversity is valued and experienced as an asset and an advantage.

The HPRO favours a proactive approach that is based on problem solving and preventing violence and harassment.

In situations where the problem-solving approach does not bring about the desired results, a formal harassment investigation (psychological or sexual) is made in order to evaluate whether harassment has indeed taken place and if so, to stop it. Recommendations are made to prevent recurrences and promote a work and study environment that is healthy and harassment-free.

A framework to guarantee respect throughout the ÉTS environment

ÉTS has enacted various policies and regulations to ensure we are a respectful place to work, to study and to live. Among these are:

In carrying out its mission, the HPRO acts in four dimensions:

  • In prevention, by raising awareness, educating, training and coaching;
  • In resolution, by mediating and resolving problems;
  • In response, by acting on and following up on complaints of psychological or sexual harassment;
  • In assistance, by providing support to victims, witnesses and, to the extent possible, persons under investigation.

The scope of the HPRO extends across all members of the ÉTS university community, including executives, managers, all teaching, professional, support and technical staff, students and interns (including postdoctoral fellows).

The HPRO’s mission can also lead it to intervene with any person present on campus, whether an employee of a contractor or of a tenant of a space belonging to ÉTS, or simply a visitor, relative to an event that occurred on campus or during an activity organized by ÉTS.

In matters of awareness, education, training and coaching:

  • Design, develop and put in place prevention, education and sensitization tools and programs in the field of conflict management, psychological harassment and sexual harassment;
  • Develop and implement, manage and promote awareness-raising and educational activities in the field of harassment;
  • Organize and conduct information and sensitization sessions on harassment;
  • Provide coaching services, notably to persons in management roles, to support them in implementing preventive and curative measures.


In matters of mediation and problem resolution:

  • Advise persons requiring its services, assess the nature and extent of the situation and decide on actions to take in compliance with the provisions of the Policy;
  • Support and advise staff and students with a view to finding the best solutions for conflict resolution and, as required, ensuring that the necessary steps are taken to stop any form of harassment;
  • Lead a problem resolution or mediation process between the parties involved;
  • Act as an intervener or facilitator in handling situations that could injure the dignity of persons;
  • Liaise with other administrative units involved.


In matters of response and follow-up to complaints:

  • Receive reports, complaints and requests from staff and students related to potential situations of harassment, and collect related information;
  • Analyze the admissibility of complaints and, if needed, enlist the help of a lawyer, psychologist, human resources management advisor or any other person whose assistance is deemed appropriate;
  • Manage and track requests and complaints; 
  • Coordinate the process of initiating and supporting external investigations, and oversee the monitoring and assessment of these interventions as appropriate.


In matters of support and assistance:

  • Liaise with other units involved when necessary, including the Human Resources and Student Service departments;
  • In collaboration with the departments and units concerned, ensure that students continue to progress in their studies;
  • Liaise with departments and units involved in responding to a report or a formal complaint and foster a coordinated approach among the stakeholders; inform the Secretary General when required;
  • Recommend to the competent persons the measures that should be taken if the integrity of a person who considers themselves injured is threatened;
  • Within its area of competence, provide support and advice to senior management of the School and the Secretary General;
  • Be on the lookout for risky situations; When required, inform and issue recommendations to the Secretary General, who is responsible for the application of the Policy;
  • Produce and an annual report on its activities and deliver it to the Board of Directors and the Executive.
     

Confidentiality
 

In carrying out its mandates of resolution, response and assistance, the HPRO strives to keep information brought to its attention confidential and to protect the identity of the parties concerned. Similarly, it expects that any person involved in resolving a problem or investigating a complaint will act with discretion.


Equality

The HPRO undertakes to promote full inclusion of all, regardless of individual differences. The need for equality for all is an important consideration that contributes to making ÉTS an open-minded and respectful work, study and living environment, especially since ÉTS is a male-dominated community and awareness and actions are necessary to guarantee that everyone feels welcome at all times.


Commitment

The HPRO recognizes that universal commitment and collaboration is important to enabling ÉTS to offer an open-minded and respectful work, study and living environment. This requires the involvement of every member of the community in concerted common actions. The establishment and maintenance of a healthy work and study climate is not the sole responsibility of the institution, but must be borne jointly by all members of the community.


Equity

The HPRO commits to ensuring that cases of misconduct and harassment will be handled in complete equity and without favouritism, regardless of the role assumed within ÉTS. As applicable, this equity must be visible during responses to reports and complaints, in particular by:

  • Relational equity, which permits a candid discussion that respects the status and the dignity of the parties;
  • Equity in information handling, which requires transparent communication on the part of the advisor and which allows the parties to take an informed decision as to their involvement in the process and about the results;
  • Procedural equity, which guarantees to the parties that they be heard, considered and involved in the decision-making consequent to the process;
  • Decision-making equity, which must manifest itself in the clarity of the criteria used to justify the sanctions or measures, which must enable repairing injury and preventing recidivism.


Diligence

The HPRO recognizes the importance of intervening rapidly when a problematic situation is brought to its attention. This means that no vexatious behaviour should be tolerated once it is recognized, and that effective intervention must take place quickly in order to stop the behaviour. In addition, the whole community must commit to participate in resolving situations of this nature. The HPRO promotes preventive approaches to problem resolution that allow the search for and implementation of solutions.


Transparency

The HPRO is committed to transparency and to inform the university community of its operation and its services. Transparency is also manifested by consulting and involving the academic community in the search for solutions.


Safety

The HPRO promotes a culture that encourages the reporting of situations that may endanger the physical or psychological safety of people working within ÉTS. It collaborates to put in place appropriate means to prevent or eliminate risky situations identified within the institution. 

“Workplace psychological safety is demonstrated when workers feel able to put themselves on the line, ask questions, seek feedback, report mistakes and problems, or propose a new idea without fearing negative consequences to themselves, their job or their career. A psychologically safe and healthy workplace actively promotes emotional well-being among employees, while taking all reasonable steps to minimize threats to employee mental health.”(© 2012 par J. Samra, M. Gilbert, M. Shain & D. Bilsker. ABOUT FP 12: Psychological Protection, Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA).(All rights reserved.)