Sexual Harassment
Compliance Training
Course Outline


Module 1 – Introduction to sexual harassment

Participants successfully completing this module should be able to:

  1. define the terms ‘harassment’ and ‘sexual harassment’
  2. explain the Australian laws relating to sexual harassment
  3. identify your rights and responsibilities as an employee relating to sexual harassment
  4. identify the types of behaviour commonly covered by an employer’s sexual harassment policy.

Section 1.1 – Welcome

Provides a brief orientation to the topics covered in the module.

Section 1.2 – Harassment and sexual harassment

Examines the questions ‘What is harassment?’ and ‘What is sexual harassment?’, and provides a comprehensive definition of harassment with a particular focus on harassment in the workplace.

Section 1.3 – Sexual harassment laws

Explains the sexual harassment laws in Australia, what kinds of things are covered, where the laws apply, and how they are enforced.

Section 1.4 – Rights and responsibilities

Looks at the issue of when actions constitute sexual harassment, promoting an awareness of how each person is responsible for their behaviour and for considering how their behaviour may be perceived by or impact on others. Discusses the concept of ‘unwelcome behaviour’.

Section 1.5 – Workplace policies

Discusses workplace policies and what is normally covered by those policies.

Section 1.6 – Summary

Briefly restates the objectives of the module to reinforce learning.

Section 1.7 – Assessment

Provides a concise online assessment comprising multiple choice questions to evaluate participants’ understanding of key concepts of the module.


Module 2 – Understanding Sexual Harassment

Participants successfully completing this module should be able to:

  1. identify the main types of sexual harassment
  2. recognise that a single incident can result in sexual harassment
  3. recognise that harassment can occur away from the workplace
  4. explain how intent is not relevant in deciding whether sexual harassment has occurred.

Section 2.1 – Welcome

Provides a brief orientation to the topics covered in the module.

Section 2.2 – Types of sexual harassment

Introduces the two main classes of sexual harassment encountered in the workplace: quid pro quo harassment and hostile working environment.

Section 2.3 – Single incidents

Reinforces the point that a single incident can constitute sexual harassment.

Section 2.4 – Sexual harassment outside the workplace

Employees must be aware that sexual harassment can occur outside the physical environment of the workplace and outside of normal working hours or a normal work context.

Section 2.5 – Intent

It is essential for employees to understand that harassment can occur even if there is no intention on the part of the harasser.

Section 2.6 – Summary

Briefly restates the objectives of the module to reinforce learning.

Section 2.7 – Assessment

Provides a concise online assessment comprising multiple choice questions to evaluate participants’ understanding of key concepts of the module.


Module 3 – Creating a harassment-free workplace

Participants successfully completing this module should be able to:

  1. recognise your responsibilities as an employee relating to sexual harassment
  2. identify actions to avoid so that you don’t engage in unacceptable or unwelcome behaviour
  3. respond appropriately if you are confronted with sexually harassing behaviour.

Section 3.1 – Welcome

Provides a brief orientation to the topics covered in the module.

Section 3.2 – Employee responsibilities

Illustrates the fact that all employees have a role to play in avoiding and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Section 3.3 – Acceptable behaviour

Looks at the issue of what is ‘acceptable behaviour’, giving several examples of situations and behaviours that commonly cause problems in the area of sexual harassment.

Section 3.4 – Responding to sexual harassment

Considers the issue of how one should respond to unwanted sexual conduct from the view of the victim, the harasser, and supervisors/managers/employers.

Section 3.5 – Summary

Briefly restates the objectives of the module to reinforce learning.

Section 3.6 – Assessment

Provides a concise online assessment comprising multiple choice questions to evaluate participants’ understanding of key concepts of the module.


Module 4 – Sexual Harassment and the law

Participants successfully completing this module should be able to:

  1. explain why managers and supervisors need to know about sexual harassment
  2. define the legal test for sexual harassment and identify the discrimination laws relating to sexual harassment in Australia
  3. describe the formal legal process for hearing and ruling on sexual harassment claims
  4. identify when organisations are liable for sexual harassment.

Section 4.1 – Welcome

Provides a brief orientation to the topics covered in the module.

Section 4.2 – Manager responsibilities

Managers have a frontline role in preventing, combating, and dealing with sexual harassment. This section introduces some of their particular responsibilities in the workplace.

Section 4.3 – Discrimination laws

Outlines the various laws that operate in Australia (including state laws) that cover or include discrimination and/or sexual harassment provisions.

Section 4.4 – The legal process

Explains how the legal process operates, and the steps involved in resolving a sexual harassment complain through legal channels.

Section 4.5 – Employer liability

Explains how employers may be held accountable for sexual harassment incidents under the legal principle of ‘vicarious liability’.

Section 4.6 – Summary

Briefly restates the objectives of the module to reinforce learning.

Section 4.7 – Assessment

Provides a concise online assessment comprising multiple choice questions to evaluate participants’ understanding of key concepts of the module.


Module 5 – Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace

Participants successfully completing this module should be able to:

  1. identify the need to take a proactive stance to prevent sexual harassment
  2. outline the importance of the sexual harassment complaint process
  3. explain how to deal with formal and informal complaints.

Section 5.1 – Welcome

Provides a brief orientation to the topics covered in the module.

Section 5.2 – Proactive prevention

Looks at what can be done to proactively prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, and why it is important to consider proactive prevention.

Section 5.3 – The complaints process

Illustrates the need for companies to have a well documented and well communicated sexual harassment policy, and to incorporate an effective complaints handling process within that policy.

Section 5.4 – Handling complaints

Comprehensively introduces the key types of complaint that may be encountered in an organisation, and provides some guidance on how to handle different complaints. Considers the difference between informal and formal complaint procedures.

Section 5.5 – Summary

Briefly restates the objectives of the module to reinforce learning.

Section 5.6 – Assessment

Provides a concise online assessment comprising multiple choice questions to evaluate participants’ understanding of key concepts of the module.


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Sexual Harassment Compliance Training Course Outline