FAQ: HSPBA Professional Development Fund

The Ministry of Health has allocated monies as a professional development fund for the HSPBA to administer. As a member of HSA covered by the HSPBA/HEABC Provincial Agreement, when will I be able to apply for funding to support my education/training?

You may apply now. Applications will be accepted up until August 21, 2023.

Will the fund cover expenses related to education/training already underway?

The fund is designed to cover education/training that commences between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023. So, if your education/training is already underway, you will be eligible to apply for funding provided it did not commence prior to September 1, 2022.

How are applications prioritized? Is it first-come, first-served?

Applications will be processed in the order they are received, and any application that is approved will have satisfied the eligibility criteria and funding guidelines. A successful applicant must submit satisfactory expense receipts, in accordance with instructions contained in the application approval letter, in order to receive reimbursement of approved expenses. To avoid disappointment, you should plan to submit an application well before the August 21, 2023 deadline.

The application form states that the funding is to be allocated to training and upgrading skills for HSPBA members working in professions experiencing shortages or rural and remote locations, as well as to ongoing required professional development for all HSPBA members. Should I submit an application even if I can't say for certain that one of these criteria would be satisfied with my application?

Yes. Do your best to answer how you think your application will serve the particular criterion.

What types of education/training are considered as professional development?

Professional development includes a range of events/instruction, such as workshops, seminars, conferences, courses, or programs. It might require in-person attendance, distance learning, or clinical placement. It might be of relatively short duration or a more lengthy pursuit of credentials such as a diploma, advanced certification, or degree.

What type of actual costs are considered for reimbursement?

Tuition fees, registration fees, the cost of required books/materials, and other reasonable education/training-related expenses are considered, to a maximum of $10,000.00.

"Other reasonable education/training-related expenses" includes reasonable costs of travel and accommodation if the applicant must travel or temporarily relocate to attend education/training or related clinical placement a that is not offered locally or virtually. A maximum of $2,500 of the $10,000 cap can be used for travel.

Costs that are NOT eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Criminal records check
  • Professional association or regulatory college fees
  • Immunizations or immunization reports
  • Technology and or software purchases
  • Materials such as yoga mats or needles
  • Any optional school/student fees
  • meals

Can members apply to have wages paid from the fund?

No. In order to support professional development for as many members as possible, the fund will not pay for wage replacement associated with an application.

Is this fund a substitute for any collective agreement provisions?

No. The professional development fund is over and above the collective agreement.

All provisions of the HSPBA/HEABC Provincial Agreement continue to apply, including Education Leave as per Article 17.01 and Unpaid leave as per Article 22.