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 March 31, 2020

Current Funding Year: 2020-21 (April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021)

Maximum Yearly Claim Amount: The maximum claim amount for eligible staff is $1,000 for the  current funding year (this is an increase from the $800 2019-20 maximum amount).  This maximum amount is prorated if you work less than 20 hours per week.

Status of TRA PD Fund: Opens April 1, 2020. Due to COVID-19, claims will be temporarily accepted by email until further notice. Please see notice below.

You can access funding for your professional development activities regardless of the fiscal or calendar year they take place.  Receipts must be submitted within 60 days of purchase to be eligible for reimbursement.

Previous Funding Year: The 2019-20 funding year ended on March 31, 2020 and all individual balances have expired for this previous funding year.

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 .

How to Apply for PD Funding Reimbursement

COVID-19 related temporary measure: Submit your PD Fund claim by email.  Please follow these temporary instructions to submit your claim to pd.funds@ubc.ca until further notice.

  1. confirm your eligibility and available balance in Faculty & Staff Self Service (Click the “staff PD”” tab );
  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.

Eligibility

Staff in the Non-Union Technicians and Research Assistants employment group (TRA) are eligible to apply for up to $1,000* in PD funding reimbursements for the current 2020-21  funding year. *Annual funding limit is pro-rated for staff working less than 0.53 FTE (less than 20 hours per week)

The funding year follows the UBC Fiscal Year – April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

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.

Leave of Absence: You are eligible for funding during a maternity, parental or adoptive leave. Eligibility during other leaves of absence will be considered by Human Resources on a case-by-case basis.

End of Employment: If your employment with the university is ending – either voluntarily or involuntarily – you are not eligible for funding once you have given notice of resignation or received a notice of termination.

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, skills, performance, or career progression of your work at the University. The fund may not be used for any other purpose.

Typical eligible expenses include:

  • Course tuition plus textbook purchases that are part of a diploma, certificate or degree program offered by a private or public educational institution (student fees are not eligible).
  • Registration and materials for individual courses, workshops, or conferences.
  • Professional development workshops offered by UBC Human Resources.
  • Exam fees.
  • Professional memberships (when not required by current job).
  • Resource books and online subscriptions for self-directed study.
  • Coaching sessions (coach must be ICF certified )
  • Travel expenses to attend out-of-town conferences or specialized training not available locally. Travel expenses are reimbursed as per UBC Policy FM8 and other related UBC business expense documents .

Please note: If you plan to enroll in a UBC course or program which is eligible under the tuition waiver benefit,  you are expected to use 100% of your tuition waiver entitlement amount before claiming any top-up support for from this PD Fund.

 Typical ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Required training or travel to meet current job requirements.
  • Professional memberships, certifications & licensing dues required by current job.
  • Activities taken for health and wellness, general interest, or recreational purposes.
  • Ancillary student fees associated with academic credit courses or programs.
  • Local travel expenses such as transit, parking or meals within Metro Vancouver.
  • All electronic devices & data plans (such as laptop, tablet, smartphone & plan),
  • Software applications or online services (such as Adobe Creative Suite, Dropbox)

If you are not sure whether a proposed PD expense is eligible for funding, please contact Human Resources at pd.funds@ubc.ca before making a financial commitment and submitting a claim.

Claim Reimbursement

Reimbursement processing:

Please allow up to two weeks for us to review your claim and process the reimbursement, which will be paid by direct deposit to you or journal voucher transfer to your department’s general ledger, depending on the option you selected on the PD Expense Claim form. Incomplete claims cannot be processed.

Non-taxable status of fund reimbursements:

The funding provided to you through this program is non-taxable and not included on your T4 slip. This means that you 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.

Cancellations and Refunds: 

If you receive funding for a PD activity but subsequently cancel or do not attend, you must notify Human Resources at pd.funds@ubc.ca  and repay UBC the funding you received. You can make a special written request for alternative arrangements if there were extenuating circumstances that prevented you from attending the PD activity.

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 providing the UBC direct supervisor (one-over-one) approval of the expense reimbursement and 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.

Questions?

Staff members: Please contact our Workplace Learning Associate in HR at  pd.funds@ubc.ca  if you have general questions about the TRA PD Fund and claim process.

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, Program Manager – PD Funds , at susanna.mulligan@ubc.ca