The Importance of Title IX Training: Who, What, When, and How?

At the outset of every academic year, Title IX Coordinators for school districts and institutions should be preparing their Title IX Team to respond to and address reports of discrimination based on sex.  These preparations should include revising policies and procedures, training, and raising awareness about and preventing barriers to reporting.  

Who should be trained?

The 2020 Title IX regulations mandate that all administrators who serve in various roles in the Title IX grievance process be trained.  That includes Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision-Makers, Appellate Decision-Makers and Informal Resolution Facilitators.  At ICS, we refer to this group as your Title IX Team.  If your school or institution utilizes external services for these roles, it is also important to ensure that they have received appropriate training.

We also recommend that ALL employees receive training on their reporting responsibilities related to sexual harassment.

What should the Title IX Team be trained on?

The Regulations specify the required training for the Title IX Team.  Each team member is required to receive training on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the education program or activity, the investigation and grievance process, and how to serve impartially.  Investigators must be trained on report writing and ways to fairly summarize relevant evidence. Decision makers must also understand the meaning of relevancy and how to identify relevant questions and evidence.  Team training, however, should extend beyond checking the box of the mandates in the regulations.  Team members should be well-versed on your policies and procedures.  Policy serves as a road map not only for the parties going through a process, but also as an outline for your team members implementing the process.  A policy that is both legally compliant and user-friendly will set a solid foundation for your Title IX Team and community.

Instruction on how to do the work, or implementation, is vital.  Table top exercises, hypotheticals, and reviews of prior matters are all extremely useful in putting teachings into practice.  It is one thing to learn legal mandates and prescriptive processes, it is an entirely different matter once it is time to put those concepts into practice in real time.

Other areas to consider for training are trauma informed practices, specific tools for a specific role (such as interview techniques or report writing for investigators), the scope of Title IX beyond sexual harassment, and the ever-changing Title IX regulatory and legal landscape.

When and how should the Title IX Team receive training?

As stated, the Title IX Team should be trained before they do the work.  An investigator, for example, should receive mandated training prior to conducting a Title IX investigation. Best practices dictate annual training for Title IX Team members.  The work is complex, and best practices evolve over time.  Resourcing your team through annual training will provide them with a solid foundation.  

Training can be through a variety of methods.  ICS provides on-demand e-learning through Title IX University that allows a Title IX Coordinator unlimited access to mandated training for the Title IX Team, as well as specialty and advanced courses to level up skills.  This allows for Team members to take training multiple times if needed to refresh their knowledge, for Title IX Coordinators to train an administrator quickly if there is a transition in a role, and for the Title IX Coordinator to track and maintain records of training.  It is also a cost effective and accessible way to meet training mandates.

The ICS team is in full swing conducting in-person training, which can be exceptionally beneficial for a Title IX team.  ICS practitioners find that the most effective combination is Title IX University courses plus tailored training either in-person or live virtually for a Title IX Team.  This combination ensures that the team has comprehensive training to satisfy the regulations, the ability to review core concepts before and after the training, and a focus on the school or institution’s policies and practices. It also builds synergy for the team to provide for smooth transitions during a Title IX grievance process,

Conclusion

The breadth and scope of the role of a Title IX Coordinator is vast. The Title IX Coordinator is the leader of the Title IX Team and must ensure that team members are resourced with appropriate training. Join us this fall either virtually or through our in-person training.  We have courses for each and every role on the Title IX team.

ICS Community Access program K12Higher Ed

ICS live interactive trainings K12Higher Ed

Online on-demand courses with Title IX University

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