Implementation Plan for the Recommendations from the Review on the SOGIE Guideline

In response to the Report on the Review of the Implementation of Guideline 9: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression, the IRB has undertaken to implement the following 11 recommendations. The Guideline itself will be revised by Spring 2021 with accompanying recommendations to be implemented by Summer of the same year.​


Recommendations 1, 9 and 10

Update the Guideline with Improved Definitions and Language

1. Provide additional guidance and clarity for members on carrying out determinations and credibility assessments in SOGIE cases, by:

  • strengthening section 7, to clarify the definition of ‘inappropriate assumptions', and to provide additional examples of approaches to assist members in identifying their own biases and assumptions, as well as appropriate ways to assess credibility.
  • making other tools available to members for credibility assessments, including further guidance in the RPD's Knowledge Management Tool.

9. In consultation with stakeholders and LGBTQ+ experts (including NGOs), proceed with annual “soft” reviews of the Guideline's terminology and definitions section, and commit to fulsome reviews every three years.

10. In consultation with stakeholders and LGBTQ+ experts (including NGOs), review the need to adapt language and policies on transgender, transsexual, intersex and other SOGIE-fluid individuals to ensure it does not force identities on them; recognizes more explicitly the fluidity of gender identity and sexual orientation; and clarifies procedures around the use of preferred names, terminology and pronouns for members and registry personnel. Ensure standard form letters are reviewed to include the appropriate terminology for non-binary, intersex, and transgender individuals.


  • Revise the Guideline to address any changes needed to terminology or definitions and to strengthen section 7 to provide further guidance on approaches to credibility assessment provided in the Guideline, with the support of consultations.

  • Determine which additional or updated tools are necessary for credibility assessments and create or update as appropriate.

  • Develop training materials and information tools regarding all changes to the Guideline and ensure that they are disseminated and included in cross-divisional training.

  • Deliver training to all members (current and future).

  • Publish and ensure the dissemination of the revised Guideline.

  • Review standard form letters to ensure proper terminology.

  • Develop a schedule for annual “soft” reviews and comprehensive reviews every three years.

Recommendation 2

Experiential training for members

Develop additional in-person experiential, interactive and practical training for members on the application of the Guideline (e.g. new modules including case-studies and workshops), specifically on sensitive questioning approaches and credibility assessments*, avoidance of stereotypes and inappropriate assumptions, and application of the Guideline in the Reasons' analysis.**

* Strengthening training on the Guideline to further emphasize that members can draw negative inferences or come to negative decisions based on inconsistencies in the testimony, evidence or any other case relevant information, even within the parameters and limitations on evidence that may characterize SOGIE cases.

**Any changes should be based on an in-depth comparison of new and existing member training of all Divisions to identify best practices, and a focus on potential need for national standardization of trainings. Training should also be updated every time the Guideline is amended.


  • Consult with stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify current approaches on questioning and assessing the credibility of SOGIE individuals and integrate them into member training.

  • Develop national cross-divisional adjudicative and experiential training in accordance with division specific needs (current and future members).

Recommendations 3 and 5

Implement additional safeguards to ensure maximization of Natural Justice Principles

3. Identify the appropriate procedural tool where a section could be added to ensure that the following steps are taken for SOGIE-related self-represented cases:

  • the member schedules a pre-hearing conference with the self-represented claimant, where the process can be discussed, and a paper summary of the SOGIE Guideline and link to the full Guideline can be provided;
  • at the outset of the hearing, go through the SOGIE Guideline and the appropriate terminology to be used during the proceeding.

5. At the outset of a hearing involving a SOGIE diverse individual, when discussing the interpretation with the interpreter (e.g. making sure the language is indeed understood), members should also confirm with interpreters that they are familiar with the SOGIE Guideline and comfortable interpreting the proceeding.


  • Identify the appropriate procedural tool to:

    • ensure appropriate treatment of self-represented persons appearing before the Board; and

    • ensure that interpreters are familiar with the guideline and able to interpret the hearing appropriately.

  • Integrate the revised Guideline into experiential training plan and sessions following publication.

Recommendation 4

Enhanced awareness and better accessibility of training to Registries Personnel

Review existing training materials to make them more accessible, and ensure ongoing professional development is provided to Registries personnel. This will ensure that they are aware of support tools available to them on the appropriate ways to use names and pronouns.


  • Develop additional training as needed for Registries personnel either virtually or in person.

  • Ensure all current employees receive training and tools and that training provided to newly hired personnel includes a SOGIE component.

Recommendation 5

Develop voluntary tailored online training for interpreters on the SOGIE Guideline as well as procedures to be followed before and during hearings:

  • When scheduling an interpreter for a SOGIE hearing, provide them with: 
    • link to the Guideline;
    • the voluntary online training;
    • the relevant sections in the handbook and any existing glossaries.
    • ask interpreters to raise any concerns about the hearing well in advance, so that solutions can be found;
  • allow interpreters to self-identify as specialized for SOGIE cases so that they can be scheduled for these types of hearings;and
  • ​at the outset of a hearing involving a SOGIE diverse individual, when discussing the interpretation members should also confirm that they are familiar with the SOGIE Guideline and comfortable interpreting the proceeding.


  • Create a roster of interpreters with SOGIE case experience.

  • Develop a roll-out plan for paid orientation training.

  • Develop a package to be shared with interpreters scheduled for a SOGIE case, including links to the Guideline, relevant sections in the Interpreter's Handbook, and to relevant glossaries.  

Recommendation 6

Updating the SOGIE Glossary


  • Ensure that the SOGIE glossary is available in the 20 most used languages of people appearing before the Board.

Recommendation 7

Improving the awareness of Designated Representatives

As the Designated Representative Program is being reviewed, incorporate information on the Guideline and develop procedures to ensure that newly appointed Designated Representatives in a SOGIE case receive the same tools and references as interpreters.


  • As part of the ongoing review, update orientation training for Designated Representatives and identify relevant tools in which to include references to the SOGIE Guideline.

  • Create a roster of Designated Representatives with SOGIE case experience.

  • Put a process in place to ensure that Designated Representatives have the necessary tools and references in advance of participating in a SOGIE case. ​

  • Examine whether to implement mandatory paid orientation training.

Recommendation 8

Ensuring consistency in knowledge for Ministers' Counsel

Ensure – through the existing trilateral governance mechanisms – that partners inform those who represent the Minister in IRB proceedings about the Guideline and its role in guiding decision-making.


  • Communicate updates made to the Guideline to the Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to ensure Minister's Representatives are informed of latest developments.

Recommendation 11

Improving Data Capturing in the IRB's Case Management System


  • Develop easier ways to collect SOGIE-related data and implement relevant fields in the IRB case management system.