BCGEU Okanagan Support Staff Professional Development Funding

The intent of the BCGEU Okanagan Professional Development Fund is to encourage and support employees to access learning activities that will enhance current job performance as well as to support skill development that may open up other career opportunities for transfer and promotion throughout the University.

Prior to submitting a claim, BCGEU staff are encouraged to check the MSP Staff PD Fund for the overall fund balance. When the funding pool balance reaches zero prior to March 31, no further PD claims will be accepted for reimbursement this current funding year. 

Questions? Please contact

Application Submission

Current Funding Year: 2019-2020 (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020)

Status of BCGEU Fund: Open and accepting PD applications. You must submit a BCGEU PD application following the guidelines in the BCGEU SSPD Fund Terms of Reference (PDF)

Maximum Yearly Claim Amount: The maximum claim amount for eligible staff is $1,200 (regular full-time, part-time or sessional with six months of accumulated service) or $600 (auxiliary with one year accumulated service), for the current fund year.

BCGEU SSPD Fund Committee: Lisa Frost (Chair), Michele Cannon, Lisa Wyness, Lorna Campbell and the BCGEU SSPD Fund Coordinator.

BCGEU SSPD Fund Committee Meeting Dates:  April 10th, May 8th, June 12th, July 10th, August 14th, September 11th, October 9th, November 13th, December 11th, January 8, 2020, February 12th and March 11th.

Previous Funding Year: The 2018-2019 funding year has ended


Employees with a regular full-time, part-time or sessional appointment with six months of accumulated service (or 910 accumulated hours) are eligible for $1,200 in professional development funding annually. Auxiliary employees with 910 accumulated hours will be eligible for $600 annually.

Funding applications are approved on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the availability of the overall budgeted funds for the year.

When to Apply

Eligible employees can apply up to four months in advance of the course/activity. Grant-in-aid support will be pre-approved contingent on availability of funds. The Committee does not approve funding requests retroactively.

Claimable Expenses

All eligible activities must be related to professional development that enhances the knowledge, skills, performance, or career progression of a BCGEU employee’s work at the University.

Eligible expenses may include fees related to a variety of learning opportunities such as:

  • courses that are part of a diploma, certificate or degree program;
  • individual courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, including web-based learning;
  • registration and membership fees;
  • materials, supplies and books.

Reasonable travel and associated expenses, including accommodation, for out-of-town conferences, workshops and seminars are also eligible (as per UBC Travel Policy #83).

All professional development activities must be provided by an association that is in the business or career related training or upgrading, or a service provider that is in the business of educating.

In accordance with Articles 64 and 65 of the Support Staff Collective Agreement, all expense claims must be submitted to BCGEU PD Fund Coordinator within two (2) weeks of the staff development activity.

Please note: Authorizing managers should not request a staff person to access the BCGEU SSPD Fund to cover any job-related skill development required for, or integral to, the effective functioning of the position. These expenses are the responsbility of the department.

Approval & Reimbursement Process

The BCGEU SSPD Fund Coordinator will review your claim to ensure it is consistent with the purpose of the program, within available individual funding limits, and includes all applicable receipts and back-up documentation as noted on the application form. Only complete applications will be forwarded to the BCGEU SSPD Fund Committee for review.

If you paid the upfront costs out of pocket, you will be reimbursed by direct bank deposit. If the upfront costs were paid by your department on your behalf, the BCGEU SSPD Fund Coordinator will arrange reimbursement to your department by Journal Voucher transfer. In either case, you will receive an approval/confirmation email once your claim has been processed. The funding provided is not included as taxable income on an employee’s T4 slip. This means that staff cannot claim the value of any funds received through this program as part of a tuition tax credit or for any other credit on their annual tax return. Please refer to Canada Revenue Agency – Eligible Tuition Fees for more information.

The reimbursement process may take 14-21 business days.

How to Apply for PD Funding Pre-Approval

  1. Confirm your enrollment in the BCGEU PD Fund and check your available balance through Faculty & Staff Self Service
  2. Review the BCGEU Terms of Reference (PDF)
  3. Discuss your PD plans with your manager and obtain your manager’s authorization
  4. Complete the BCGEU SSPD Fund application (PDF), ensure the following required documentation is attached:
    – separate letter with explanation of how the course/activity will enhance your knowledge and/or skills relevant to your current position or career development plan
    – copies of documentation to substantiate the costs on the application form (i.e. airfare print outs, accommodation costs, receipts, course information with fees, etc.)
    Only complete applications will be forwarded to the BCGEU SSPD Fund committee for review.
  5. Submit the BCGEU SSPD Fund application (PDF) for review at least 5 business days before the upcoming BCGEU SSPD Fund Committee meeting.The committee meets the second Wednesday of every month.
  6. Upon review of your application by the BCGEU SSPD Fund Committee, you will receive notification of approval or denial via email.

How to Apply for Reimbursement of Expenses

  1. Once your application is approved you will be required pay upfront for your eligible PD activity or arrange to have your department pay upfront on your behalf.
  2. Complete the BCGEU PD Expense Claim Form  (PDF), ensure all required documentation is attached:
    – Payee, as it should appear on cheque or JV – individual or department
    – If department, attach copy of PCard (Visa) statement showing transaction and a copy of department GL account(s) printout that shows transaction.
    – attach original receipts and supporting documentation as noted on the claim form
  3. Send your completed claim form by UBC internal / campus mail channels or drop off within 14 days of the activity date (as noted on your receipt) to:
    Human Resources – BCGEU SSPD Funds
    Attn: BCGEU SSPD Fund Coordinator
    ADM 002, 1138 Alumni Avenue
    Kelowna, BC  V1V 1V7
    Emailed claim forms are not accepted


Contact Debbie Harding at  or 250.807.8829