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Sharpening Your Teeth: Advanced Investigative Training for Administrative Watchdogs

The Ontario Ombudsman’s Office has pioneered an innovative methodology for conducting systemic investigations. 
Our Toronto course, Sharpening Your Teeth (SYT), has been offered annually since 2007 and has welcomed colleagues from Australia, Bermuda, South Korea, Israel, Brazil, Ireland, Holland, the Caribbean, South Africa and the United Kingdom.


“Excellent! Inspiring! This course really puts some “academic credibility” to the art and science of investigations."
The intensive course teaches advanced investigation techniques, using the Ontario Ombudsman's Office's proven models for conducting systemic investigations. Other course topics include interviewing witnesses, investigation planning, writing and publicizing reports, using new technologies and social media, and more.

Our SYT training newsletter, which we send out several times every year, will announce conference dates, costs, and information about the upcoming 2017 course, along with information about our customized global courses (held on a cost-recovery basis) and other future training opportunities.

If you'd like to stop receiving the SYT newsletter at any time, please click here.

Image of Sharpening Your Teeth brochure

Sharpening your Teeth brochure (
PDF | accessible PDF)

This advanced course is geared towards ombudsmen, investigators, and other professional watchdogs. People working in those sectors will be given priority in registration because the course content is tailored specifically to their work. This course has limited enrollment and we take into account experience in investigations and oversight when accepting applicants. We reserve the right to limit participation in this course to people with direct experience in these areas.

Ombudsman Ontario also offers customized courses that have been delivered around the world. If you have any questions or would like to discuss customized courses, please contact

Course Feedback 

  • "Sharpening Your Teeth is one of, if not the top training seminar of its kind in the world."
  • “Not only has the course provided insightful tools and info, it has given me courage to go back to the office and start effecting change.”
  • "A good portion of the content was useful to me on several levels. Investigation planning will be useful for new-employee training. Interviewing and evidence portions will be useful for new and veteran employees.”
  • “Speaking with those at the Ontario Ombudsman’s office was enlightening.Your office is a great example of an office that functions well together through mutual collaboration and cooperation.”
  • “This course is very useful and interesting. It’s a very good chance to collaborate with participants from other countries and to study their experience.”

Map of agencies that have participated in SYT training
[accessible PDF]