Investigator – Office of the Patient Ombudsman (Ontario)

Investigator – Office of the Patient Ombudsman (Ontario)

April 22, 2022

About Patient Ombudsman

Patient Ombudsman is a growing organization that champions fairness in Ontario’s healthcare system. Patient Ombudsman is mandated to receive, attempt to resolve, and investigate complaints from patients or their caregivers about their care or experiences in public hospitals, long term care homes, and home and community care support services. Patient Ombudsman may also investigate matters on its own initiative. Following investigations, Patient Ombudsman makes recommendations to health care organizations based on our findings. As an impartial office of last resort, Patient Ombudsman helps when people have not been able to resolve their complaint directly with the health sector organization. As an Ombudsman office, Patient Ombudsman undertakes its mandate independently of Ontario Health in accordance with the Statement of Principles of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.

Want to make a difference in your career?  Consider this opportunity.

Reporting to the Manager, Investigations, the Investigator is responsible for investigating a broad range of complaints involving the actions and inactions of health sector organizations. The Investigator will handle a caseload of individual complaints and may also participate in a team investigating systemic issues. The Investigator will establish investigative plans, gather evidence, conduct interviews and inspections, analyze evidence and prepare thorough and objective reports including recommendations.

Here is what you will be doing:


  • Manages a caseload of investigations with various levels of priority, sensitivity, and time frames.
  • Reviews files and gathers necessary information to identify relevant issues.
  • Drafts investigation plans for consultation and early identification of issues by assessing the scope and determining the methodology and techniques required to carry out a thorough and effective investigation.
  • Conducts thorough and objective investigations, involving both individual and systemic issues with a focus on rigorous fact-finding, fairness, timelines, and attention to detail.
  • Coordinates list of people to be interviewed, communicates with complainants, health sector organization staff and witnesses, and conducts on-site interviews and inspections to gather evidence.
  • Plans and conducts thorough interviews using a variety of interviewing techniques.
  • Leads or participates in complex high profile and/or time sensitive investigations.
  • Identifies, obtains, reviews, and analyzes all documentation relevant to an investigation.
  • Identifies potential barriers to an effective investigation and recommends solutions.
  • Supports Early Resolution Specialists by providing expertise, analysis, and a point for resolution and/or escalation of complaints.
  • Conducts file reviews and other quality improvement activities on an as needed basis.

Analysis and Report Writing

  • Reviews and analyzes all evidence collected during an investigation, including identification and analysis of any legal or regulatory issues.
  • Prepares and maintains factual, objective, and accurate documentation to ensure neutrality.
  • Ensures that all information relating to an investigation is documented in the case management system, including storing an electronic copy of all paper documents in the case management system.
  • Recommends appropriate steps to take following analysis of the evidence, including proposed findings and recommendations.
  • Writes detailed, high-quality reports and correspondence — in plain language when possible —  setting out the facts of a case cogently, objectively and accurately, followed by a well-reasoned analysis and unbiased assessment of the evidence.


  • Uses advanced communication skills including active listening, and demonstrates ability to diffuse emotional situations and extract relevant information through telephone and/or in-person interviews.
  • Effectively communicates necessary information to complainants, health sector organization employees, and others by telephone, email, correspondence or in-person, reflecting a tone appropriate to Patient Ombudsman.
  • Participates in team meetings, sharing information on the status of investigations and anticipated difficulties.
  • Consults with the manager and others for strategies and/or guidance on lines of inquiry.
  • Works collaboratively and maintains an effective and professional working relationship with other members of the Patient Ombudsman team.


  • Complies with all relevant legislation, including but not limited to, the Excellent Care for All Act, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Health Care Consent Act, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Complies with the operational policies and procedures of the Office of the Patient Ombudsman.

Other Activities

  • Maintains the confidentiality and privacy of personal information and personal health information.
  • Participates in learning opportunities.
  • Participates in internal committees and undertakes special projects
  • Mentors/coaches new colleagues, as required.
  • Provide “back-up” coverage for the Early Resolution Specialists, as required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Here is what you will need to be successful:

Education and Experience

  • Post-secondary degree in health administration, public administration, law, alternative dispute resolution or in a related field with an acceptable combination of education and experience.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of current experience conducting investigations in a similar type organization.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of current experience working with case management or information management systems.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Proven experience in investigations and/or administrative oversight.
  • Knowledge of public hospitals, long-term care facilities and/or home care in the Ontario context
  • Proven experience understanding and interpreting legislation, policies, and procedures.
  • Knowledge about administrative fairness relating to ombudsman investigations, case law and its applications, knowledge about administrative law in general and with the rules of natural justice, due process, procedural and substantive fairness.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment/integrity, remain independent and impartial.
  • Demonstrated experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and executing investigation plans.
  • Strong analytic skills to conduct research and assess evidentiary relevance.
  • Proven ability to interview individuals at all organizational levels.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and discretion, including the ability to manage and diffuse emotionally-charged situations.
  • Demonstrated experience in analyzing and identifying issues without injecting opinion or acting as an advocate. 
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively problem solve and facilitate resolutions.
  • Capable of multi-tasking and balancing the need to investigate quickly without compromising quality and objectivity.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service and quality principles in service delivery.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and respond effectively in a diverse population.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Self-starter with a proven ability to work independently and within a team. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively and maintain an effective and professional working relationship.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify risks and take appropriate steps to mitigate risks.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office, case/information management systems and office technologies.
  • Possesses a valid Class “G” driver’s license and has demonstrated ability to drive a motor vehicle.
  • Bilingual in English and French would be an asset

Working Conditions

  • Generally works in an office or home office environment.
  • Will be required to travel to conduct interviews, gather evidence and conduct inspections, to attend meetings or events, training or conferences. Some occurrences of over-night travel will be required.
  • Within the framework of the Excellent Care of All Act and other approved policies, has the authority to make decisions and take action.  Where authority is specifically withheld, has the responsibility to recommend appropriate action to those who have the authority.

Employment Type: Permanent

Location: Ontario (currently virtual; subject to change)

All applicants must be a resident of Ontario to be considered for roles at Ontario Health.

Application Deadline Date: May 6, 2022

Apply directly through this link Investigator / Enquêteur (

All candidates must apply with Resume and Cover letter

Note: As part of the initial recruitment screening process, applicants must confirm that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If applicants are not fully vaccinated, they will be asked to identify any accommodation needs pursuant to a protected ground under the Code. If no such accommodation is identified, the applicant will not be eligible to proceed through the recruitment process.

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman