Procedures and Guidelines

PGME Discrimination & Harassment Policy

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This document is intended to supplement the University of Saskatchewan’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Policy Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment, and is in accordance with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada accreditation standards.


Discrimination and harassment are prohibited and will not be tolerated in PGME learning environments.


Discrimination based on prohibited grounds refers to any differential treatment, inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that is based on the following: religion, creed, marital status, family status, sex (including gender expression, gender identity and two spirit identity), sexual orientation, disability, physical size or weight, age, colour, ancestry, nationality, place of origin, race or perceived race, and receipt of public assistance.

Personal harassment is any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that adversely affects an employee's or student's psychological or physical well-being and that the person knows or ought reasonably to know would cause an employee or student to be humiliated or mistreated.

Mistreatment covers a broad range of unacceptable and harmful behaviours, from belittlement and humiliation to grievous acts of sexual harassment and physical assault.

University Official is the Program Director, Department Head, Associate Dean, PGME, Dean of College, etc. 

What is Not Harassment

Harassment does not include:

  1. day-to-day management or supervisory decisions involving work assignments, job assessment and evaluation and disciplinary action:
  2. demands for academic excellence or a reasonable quality of work; or
  3. the reasonable expression of opinions, debate or critique of an individual's ideas or work. 

This policy does not limit or amend the provision of any collective agreement and is not intended to discourage or prevent someone from pursuing a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Occupational Health and Safety, or via any other legal avenues available.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all Residents in residency training programs at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan


1)      Initial Steps

a)   Consultations prior to reporting of incidents and concerns

Any Resident who believes she or he has been subject or witness to a harmful incident is urged to bring their concerns forward. Before reporting a formal complaint, the Resident is advised to consult in confidence with their Chief Resident, Supervisor, Program Director, hospital authority, PGME coordinator, or Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan, or the University’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services (DHPS).

Residents should recognize that not all individuals (except the DHPS) may be aware of the most effective options to address the concerns or how best proceed.

In the case of uncertainty Residents are encouraged to:

 i)            Contact the University’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services (DHPS) to seek advice regarding options available and procedures, even without initiating the complaint process.

 ii)          Bring the matter to the attention of a University Official (Program Director, Department Head, Associate Dean, PGME).

b)    Residents have the option to report harmful incidents by making a verbal, written (email or paper form) or in-person report of the incident to: any University Official (Program Director, Department Head, Associate Dean, PGME), or DHPS.

c)    Under the University policy, a report must be made within one year of the occurrence of the alleged incident(s), baring exceptional circumstances.

2)      Options for Resolution

Reports, incidents and/or complaints of mistreatment, discrimination and/or harassment can be resolved using informal and/or formal procedures. Informal procedures focus on resolving the problem rather than determining right and wrong or taking disciplinary action. Formal approaches focus on establishing the facts and implementing appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action.

a)      Informal resolution

Informal resolution may include consultation, raising the matter directly with the offending party or mediation.

b)     Formal complaint

A formal complaint is initiated by filling out a written complaint form and submitting it to DHPS.
Incidents may also be reported to a University Official (Program Director, Department Head, Associate Dean PGME). If a University Official has received the complaint or has become aware of an incident, she/he should consult with a Human Resources Consultant to determine an appropriate course of action.

In all cases the Associate Dean, PGME must be informed of incidents, complaints or reports of mistreatment, discrimination and harassment by and against the Residents

3)       Resolution of a Formal Complaint

a)      University jurisdiction

The University policy applies to all members of the University community including individuals employed directly or indirectly at the University, students, volunteers and visitors (including employees who work on University administered grants or research funded projects and contractors).
It covers incidents that occur on University premises and other work and study sites under the University’s control, or during the course of any University sponsored event. All PGME programs are University-based irrespective of which site these are offered.

i)  Process

The process for resolution will follow the procedures outlined by the University of Saskatchewan’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention policy.
Formal complaints against students will follow the procedures in the Standard of Student Conduct in Non-Academic Matters and Procedures for Resolution of Complaints and Appeals.

ii)  Respondents

If the respondent is another Resident – the investigation will be conducted through the PGME office.
If the respondent is a medical student, it will be through the UGME office.
If the respondent is a University employee or contracted physician/individual the investigation will be through the appropriate senior administrator’s office.

For contracted physicians/clinical teachers the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will be consulted for a joint investigation process (the consultation will be between the Dean (or delegate), Vice-Dean Education, Associate Dean PGME and the Health Authority senior leaders.


b)     Other jurisdictions (Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, others)

In many of the hospital and other clinical settings, Residents interact with and are part of health care teams with individuals who have no connection with the University.

i) Process

Where an incident involves a respondent who is not an employee of the University, or has no connection with the University and the complaint has been reported (verbally or through a formal University Complaint Form) the Associate Dean, PGME and the VP Practitioner Staff Affairs (VP PSA) (of the relevant SHA or other agency) will determine the most appropriate course of action (which institution will take the lead or if a joint investigation committee will be struck).

If the University takes the lead, then the University policy and procedures will apply.
Where the SHA or other agency takes the lead, the hospital VP PSA will inform the appropriate hospital staff (CEO, other senior leader) and advise the University (the Dean, the Vice Dean Education, the Associate Dean PGME, the Program Director) of the steps to be taken. The University will safeguard the interests of the Resident.

If a joint investigation is to be conducted the University and the SHA/agency will discuss membership of the investigative committee and the process to be followed. University and SHA policy and procedures will apply in this investigation.

ii) Respondents

If the respondent is a SHA/other agency staff the investigation will be conducted through the appropriate office at the SHA/clinical facility, or through a joint investigation process involving the SHA/clinical facility and the University.

c)      Jurisdiction of other training sites with other Universities (for mandatory and elective rotations)

The policy and procedures of the respective University will govern the process.

4)      Tracking of complaints by the PGME

All complaints/consultations with in the PGME are used to track incidents of harm and generate reports for exclusive review by PGME. No one else has access to these reports and sharing of information in the reports (outside of the system) is governed by the principle of confidentiality.


If a University official has received the complaint or has become aware of an incident, she/he should consult with a Human Resources Consultant to determine an appropriate course of action.


Instances or concerns of non-compliance with this policy should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean, PGME.


Coordinator, Academic and Non-academic Processes, PGME Office

Phone: 306-966-6145