Non-Union Technicians & Research Assistants (TRA) Professional Development Fund

Funding is available to support the professional development of Non-Union Technicians and Research Assistants (TRA) at UBC. For the purposes of this funding program “professional development” is defined as those activities that enhance the knowledge, performance or career progression of an employee’s work at the University.

Claim Form | Guidelines (TRA) | Faculty & Staff Self-Service | Email Us

Claim Submission Update:

Updated October 11, 2019

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

Status of Fund: The TRA PD funding pool has a remaining balance of approximately $3,000 as of October 11, 2019.

This limited availability of funds is due to a marked increase in PD Fund claim submissions this first half of the fund year. We anticipate that the remaining balance will run out within the next  3-5 days.

When the funding pool balance reaches zero, all staff individual balances will expire and no further PD expense claims will be accepted or reimbursed for the current fund year. We will update the remaining balance on a daily basis to assist you with your PD planning.

Maximum Yearly Claim Amount: The maximum claim amount for eligible staff is $800 this current funding year. This maximum amount is prorated if you work less than 53% part-time hours.

If you have recently made a submission to the fund, you can monitor the status of your claim through the Faculty & Staff Self-Service portal. Claim details are provided via the “Staff PD” tab .

Regardless of fiscal or calendar year in which your professional development activities take place, receipts must be submitted within 60 days of purchase.

Next Funding Year: April 1, 2020– March 31, 2021

Eligible claim submissions for the next funding year will be accepted as of April 1, 2020. For this next funding year we will be assessing the overall fund usage trend and may decrease the individual maximum amount to support equitable access to the funding pool throughout the entire fund year.  Please check the TRA PD Fund webpage for updates closer to April 1, 2020.


How to Apply for PD Funding Reimbursement

  1. confirm your TRA PD Fund eligibility  status and available balance in Faculty & Staff Self Service (Click the “staff PD ” tab in Self-Service to view your funding details);
  2. review the TRA PD Fund Guidelines (PDF);
  3. confirm your manager’s support for your PD request prior to making a purchase;
  4. pay upfront for your eligible PD activity or arrange to have your department pay upfront on your behalf;
  5. complete the TRA PD Fund Expense Claim Form (PDF);
  6. print out a completed form, sign the form and obtain manager signature of authorization;
  7. attach receipts & required supporting documentation as described on the claim form;
  8. mail or drop off the completed claim form  within 60 days of your purchase date to:

Human Resources – Staff PD Funds
600 – 6190 Agronomy Road, TEF 3  ( building map)
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

You cannot submit your claim form  by email, please use campus mail or drop off your claim form at the Human Resources office in person Mon-Fri, 8:30am -4:30pm.

How To Pay for an HR Professional Development Workshop with PD Funding

Please follow these special PD Fund application procedures to arrange a direct payment of a HR Professional Development Workshop fee using your available PD funds.


Staff in the Non-Union Technicians and Research Assistants employment group (TRA) are eligible to apply for up to $800* in PD funding reimbursements for the current 2019-2020  funding year. The funding year follows the UBC Fiscal Year – April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

Individual funding requests are approved on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the availability of the annual budgeted funds. If overall funding is exhausted in any one year, employees will be notified that no further applications will be approved until the fund renewal in the following fiscal year.

Please note: The funding  provided to you through the TRA PD Fund, comes from a central budget and the dollar value of your reimbursement is not charged back to your department or unit.

*Annual funding limit is pro-rated for staff working less than 0.50 FTE

When to Apply

PD Expense claims are eligible for submission to the TRA PD Fund as soon as the upfront payment has been made and must include receipts & any supplemental documentation required as described on the PD Expense claim form.

Claims must be submitted to Human Resources within 60 days of the original PD expense purchase date (as shown on receipt).

Claimable Expenses

Expenses must be related to professional development activities that enhance the knowledge, performance or career progression of your work at the University.

Funding can be used for a wide variety of professional development activities for you professional growth in the workplace including:

  • workshops
  • courses
  • conferences
  • travel to conferences
  • professional memberships and designations (not required for your job)
  • books

Further details on typical PD activities covered by the fund and a list of excluded expenses can be found in the TRA PD Fund Guidelines.

Professional development related travel expenses are reimbursed as per Policy FM8 – Business Expenses (formerly Policy #83) and related documents (local travel is not TRA PD Fund eligible).

Reimbursement Process

The PD Fund Coordinator in UBC Human Resources 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.

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 PD Fund Coordinator will arrange reimbursement to your department by Journal Voucher transfer. If you applied your PD Funds towards a Professional Development workshop offered through Human Resources, the PD Fund Coordinator will arrange payment on your behalf using your available PD Funds.

In all cases, you will receive an approval/confirmation email once your claim has been processed.

The reimbursement process may take up to 15 business days.

Managers and Supervising Faculty Members:

As a manager or supervising faculty member at UBC, you can support your employees to be successful and engaged in their work – and prepare them for evolving or future roles at UBC – by initiating ongoing career development conversations and by providing information about available resources to support their professional development.

Purpose of Funding:

The TRA PD Fund is a financial resource available to support employee access to learning activities that will enhance work-related knowledge, skills and performance and/or contribute to ongoing career development and advancement here at UBC.

PD Funding Source:

An annual budget is set aside each UBC fiscal year for employees in the non-union Technician and Research Assistants (TRA) employee group. This funding provided to your employee comes from a  UBC central budget, and is not charged back to your unit/department operating speedchart or research grant.

The PD Funds are administered through UBC HR and negotiated as part of the Collective Agreement bargaining process for most employee groups (where applicable).

Funding is available to your employees on  a first-come, first-serve basis. Once your employee has reached their individual yearly maximum amount, they must wait until the next fiscal year to apply for reimbursement for eligible PD activities. If all of the funding within PD Fund annual budget is accessed prior to fiscal year end, all individual PD fund balances will expire and Human Resources will stop processing claims for that employee group until the next fiscal year.

The funds provided to your staff from this central source are not intended to be a replacement for departmental PD funds. Rather these funds are intended to be a workplace enhancement, and addition to, departmental funds set aside for ongoing staff development wherever feasible.

Your Role in the Approval Process:

Please familiarize yourself with your employee’s  PD Fund guidelines to confirm that your employee’s chosen learning activity falls within the program’s funding scope. When you sign an employee’s PD Expense Claim form, you are agreeing that the claimed PD expenses adhere to the PD Fund guidelines.

If your employee’s selected PD activity occurs during regularly scheduled working hours, you should have a discussion with the employee about their time away from work – if the time off will be paid, or if they will need to take vacation time or unpaid leave.

Please note that the TRA PD Fund does not cover required professional memberships/designations or required training necessary for your employee to perform essential core duties.  These types of expenses should be paid out of your unit’s operational budget.


Managers and Supervising Faculty Members: If you have any questions about the approval process or supporting your staff to access the TRA PD Fund  please contact Susanna Mulligan, PD Fund Manager, at or 604-822-9273.

Staff members: Please contact  Cathy Faulconer, Workplace Learning Associate , 604.822.6314 if you have general questions about the TRA PD Fund and claim process.