Date: May 30, 2013
From: Julie Stockton, Director, Organizational Development & Learning, Human Resources
To: Heads, Administrators, M&P staff at the Vancouver Campus
Subject: Changes to M&P PD Fund Individual Limit & Discontinuation of Quarterly Allocations of PD Funds Effective June 1, 2013
Further to our memo of April 3, which highlighted changes to several of our PD funds, this memo provides updates on changes specifically to the M&P Professional Development Fund for the 2013-2014 funding year (April 1- March 31).
Changes effective as of June 1, 2013:
- Individual funding limit for M&P PD Fund set at $550 ($200 decrease)
- Discontinuation of quarterly allocation of PD Funds , returning to annual system
- PD Expense claims accepted (fund reopened) for the remainder of this fiscal year
- PD Expense claims can be submitted as soon as the payment is made
These significant changes to the M&P PD Fund, which the University has made in consultation with the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS), are intended to improve staff access to the Fund and simplify the overall PD Expense claims process.
Why we are making changes now:
Although we are only two months into the new funding year, we feel it is important to address the fund accessibility issues as soon as possible to improve staff access to the M&P PD Fund this year rather than waiting another year.
We hope to improve overall accessibility to M&P PD funds by:
- Increasing opportunity for more staff to use the funding this year
- Eliminating administrative barriers in order to create a faster, simplified PD Expense claim process
- Anticipating requirements of shift to online PD Expense claims process (to be piloted later this year)
The University currently provides $480,000 annually for the M&P PD Fund, for staff at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Although M&P staff have been able to apply for up to $750 in PD Funding support each year since 2008, prior to that, the individual funding maximum ranged from $250-$400. This past year under the quarterly allocation model designed to equalize access to funds, the fund continued to receive more requests than the available allocation could accommodate and simply ran out 23 weeks throughout the year, rather than 7 weeks at the end of the year.
Effective June 1, 2013, we will*:
1) Reduce the maximum individual funding amount from $750 to $550
Why: This is projected to free up an additional $60,000 – $80,000 and potentially enable 15-20% more staff to access annual PD funding.
2) Discontinue the quarterly allocation system and allocate the remaining 2013-2014 funds on a first come, first service basis for the remainder of the fiscal year. Remaining funds available for distribution to staff between June 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014: $320,000.
Why: This will allow us to keep the fund open on a reliable consistent basis for the majority of the year. Funds may still run out prior to March 31, the end of the funding year, if demand is high.
3) Accept completed PD applications for reimbursement based on purchase date, (as shown on receipt), where previously it was based on the start/occurrence date of the PD event. Staff may submit a PD Expense claim with receipts within 60 days of the original purchase date.
Why: This will speed up the reimbursement process, as staff can now submit a reimbursement request as soon as a PD Expense claim (along with receipt of payment) is complete.
*Important Information for Staff with recent PD expenses:
Because these changes are happening part-way through the funding year, there will be a June-July transition period in which we will assist staff with claims that were eligible for submission under the previous quarterly allocation framework.
- We will review all PD Expense claims received in HR since April 1, 2013, that were denied funding due to the quarterly allotment fund exhaustion ( for consideration under the new $550 maximum). This applies to a number of M&P staff who will be contacted in early June for further processing of their claims.
- Staff who did not submit their April 1 to June 30, 2013 claim due to the first quarter fund exhaustion are invited to submit their claims by July 31, 2013 ($550 maximum).
- We anticipate that some staff have been holding on to eligible completed PD Expense claims for submission later this year. We encourage you to submit these as soon as possible after June 1.
- All staff who submitted claims and received $550 or more in funding support in the first quarter of the year have now reached the individual funding maximum.
As we prepare to move the PD claim process online (to be piloted later this year), this simplified reimbursement process will benefit the transition from our current system to the future automated self- service PD claim environment. Along with the changes outlined in this memo, further changes may be required as we refine the online tool and we thank you in advance for your understanding as we attempt to simplify the claims process.