An outline of the course is as follows:
Module 1: An introduction
As the title suggests this module introduces you to the course, explains the methodology and how to complete a course on-line.
Module 2: The role, purpose and function of a chairperson
Vital aspects of chairing a hearing such as your mandate are explained, as well as the values which you as chair are expected to show. Challenges to your authority and other objections are also discussed.
Module 3: The steps of a hearing
An outline of the steps of a hearing following a best practice model and distinguishing this from the ‘criminal trial’ model are explained briefly as well as the link between the hearing and your finding.
Module 4: The introduction
The opening of a hearing is discussed with examples in this module.
Module 5: Checking for procedural fairness
An aspect of a hearing which is generally ignored is your obligation to ensure that the procedures an employer should have followed prior to the hearing. This module gives examples of the kind of problems a chairperson faces at this stage and suggests solutions which are best practice.
Module 6: Determining the process of a hearing
The course seeks to change the perception that a disciplinary hearing is much like a criminal trial. This module provides you with the knowledge and tools to be flexible in how you conduct the hearing.
Module 7: Documentary evidence
Many hearings include documentary evidence. This course distinguishes itself in that it deals with how such evidence should be managed and admitted, with practical advice as to how this is done.
Module 8: The allegations
The course provides chairpersons with an understanding of the concepts of ‘elements’ and the law regarding the onus of proof and balance of probabilities. The module , explains how elements are used when chairing a hearing, and how this gives you the ability to manage the hearing in a professional manner. A case study is used to show how to link evidence to an element of a form of misconduct.
Module 9: The elements of misconduct and incapacity
This module provides you with all the elements of the forms of serious misconduct as well as of poor performance and probation. These give you a guideline as to what evidence to expect and require of parties.
Module 10: The elements of substantive fairness
Another aspect which is ignored in other similar courses is the need for a chairperson to hear evidence on the elements of substantive fairness as provided in the Code of Good Practice: Dismissals. These elements are discussed in detail with examples.
Module 11: The evidence of witnesses
This module gives a chairperson the confidence to be able to hearing evidence knowing the legal impact of such evidence. The two rules of evidence- relevance and admissibility- are explained. This is followed by a discussion of the evidence of witnesses. The module ends will an overview of types of evidence with examples of each.
Module 12: Assessing evidence
A key function of a chairperson is to be able to assess the evidence presented in a hearing. This module provides you with the tools to do this by giving examples, and showing you the pitfalls to avoid.
Module 13: The appropriate sanction
As a chairperson you are requiored to decide a sanction if you have found that an employee has committed misconduct or her performance is poor. How this is done in the light of the law is discussed with examples.
Module 14: The finding
Your role as a chairperson of a hearing ends with the conclusion you come to after hearing and assessing the evidence. This module explains how to write your finding with examples.
Module 15: An employee’s rights and signature
An employee who has been sanctioned has rights which she may chose to follow. Your obligation to inform such an employee is explained with examples.
Module 16: Applications
A chairperson is often faced with a number of applications from representatives which can be made at any time during a hearing. This module explains these and shows who to make rulings which comply with the law and best practice.
Module 17: Summative assessment
The course is completed by doing two assignments and a quiz which will cover all the modules.