Policy: AC14: Professional Development (PD) Policy and Procedure in RHI

Professional Development (PD)

Policy and procedure in RHI

  1. Introduction

Recognizing the continuing need for teacher professional development to enhance teaching expertise, teachers and administrators may have differing views on the characteristics, scope, and scientific propositions of effective teacher professional development. The Robert Health Institute is committed to adapting contemporary professional development practices to promote teacher beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and classroom practices as critical elements of student learning.

  • Purpose

Adapt current teacher professional development practices, that is, any activity or process designed to promote teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and classroom practices as key elements and essential qualities of student learning. RHI has been working hard to help teachers not only improve their teaching knowledge but also provide a cultural environment where they can share their experiences with others.

  • Scope

This policy applies to all permanent RHI staff (admin, support, academic), part-time (admin, academic, regular part-time support staff), partial load employees under contract, and exempt staff. This policy is not intended to support professional memberships or conferences, which may be funded through departmental budgets. Access to different professional development programs are specific to each program, employee type and funding criteria. It is therefore advised that employees reference the eligibility criteria for each program for more details.

This policy applies to all RHI permanent staff (administrative staff, support staff, academic staff), part-time staff (administrative staff, academic staff, regular part-time support staff), part-load staff under contract, and exempt staff. This policy does not attempt to support professional memberships or conferences that may get the fund through the departmental budget. Access to different professional development programs varies for each program, employee type, and funding criteria. Therefore, employees should reference the eligibility criteria for each program for more details.

  • Definitions
    • Professional development (PD)

The term PD, in education, refers to taking part in various actions, activities, and processes that are designed for teachers in order to promote their teaching skills, knowledge, and attitudes as well as enhance students’ learning, such as:

  • Participating in peer review,
    • Taking formal education or specialized training,
    • Attending or presenting at workshops and conferences,
    • Enrolling in certificate-, diploma-, or degree-granting educational programs,
    • Receiving orientation on new equipment and procedures,
    • Contributing to professional journals,
    • Participating on accreditation teams,
    • Participating on academic or professional committees,
    • Maintaining competence as required by certification or regulatory bodies,
    • Attending clinical rounds and in-service sessions,
    • Returning to clinical practice,
    • Competencies:

Refers to the set of professional knowledge, skills, attitudes, and other abilities required to effectively perform teaching tasks.

  • Staff

Faculties and staff who are involved RHI education program, including full-time faculty, part-time faculty, sessional faculty, and support staff.

  • Student

Student refers to full- and part-time vocational and non-vocational students currently registered at RHI.

  • Senior administrator

Senior administrator includes the president of RHI campus, the vice-president responsible for an academic department, and directors responsible for specific department.

  • Tuition Reimbursement Support:

Reimbursement of the portion of tuition paid by an employee to an accredited institution for Job-Related courses or RHI credit courses.

  • Job-Related Courses:

Courses relevant to the employee’s current role at the Institute, or courses that increase the employee’s future opportunities for advancement within the Institute.

  • Policy and Procedure

The Robert Health Institute will define its organizational goals and priorities, including employee certification, by developing and implementing a range of strategies, policies, programs, and tools designed to establish progressive professional development, enabling them to contribute to the achievement of the Institute’s strategic goals.

  • Priority will be given to requests for the following professional development: Actively participate in curriculum design, evaluation, and accreditation approval actions to enhance the program curriculum.Support an employee’s development plan within their current role. Enhance the competencies (core knowledge and skills, leadership, and profession) required to effectively perform the employee’s current role.Build competencies and needs aligned to Robert Health Institute strategic plan.Advance talent strategies and programs such as succession by building competencies in readiness for potential succession turns. Satisfy agreed development or competency requirements as laid out under a collective agreement.
    • The Institute will approve applications taking into account the above factors, as well as the eligibility requirements and budget for each instrument available to the employee for professional development.
    • RHI’s policies related to each instrument and professional development support are described below.
      •  The RHI will provide all staff with opportunities to develop professional competence through a series of short courses and seminars administered by the staff/student departments.
      • All fulltime (admin, support, academic), part-time (admin, academic, regular parttime, regular support staff) and partial load employees under contract are eligible to access these internally provided programs.
      • Internally provided programs are provided each semester, and are published through the learning and development calendar board.
    • Programs offered by academic departments.
      • The Institute will provide staff with the opportunity to develop professional competencies through specially developed short courses and seminars administered by academic departments.
      • All academic staff are eligible to access these courses and seminars.
  • Institute funded Credit Courses-Tuition Fees,
      • Institute will offer opportunities for employees to participate in institute’s funded credit courses,
  • A reduced tuition or enrollment cost of $20 per approved course, plus the cost of required course materials will be charged.
    • To be eligible to take these courses, employees must meet the institute’s admission requirements and will be subject to academic policies as part of the eligibility requirements.
    • More detailed information on access and eligibility may be obtained from the office of the registrar.
    • Educational Assistance-Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
      • Tuition assistance is available to employees where institute provides financial assistance for certificate, diploma, degree, doctoral programs and professional association courses taken at an accredited post-secondary institution or professional associations.
      • Eligibility and Requirements:
        • All full-time (admin, support, academic) employee with six months or more service (including full-time employees on sabbatical or maternity/paternity leave).
        • Part-time (administrative, academic, part-load employees under contract, and regular part-time support staff) employees who have achieved at least one (1) year of continuous employment.
        • To be eligible for reimbursement, employees must be in good standing and continue to be employed by the College during the completion of their studies.
        • Reimbursement will only be paid upon successful completion of the course or program at an accredited post-secondary institution.
        • Course or programs must satisfy at least one of the categories listed above at section 5.5,5.6,5.7 of this policy.
        •  To access the TAP benefit, employees must complete an application form.
        • A maximum of $1000 per employee (described above) is available each fiscal year (September 1-August 31) for reimbursement of tuition fee costs only for courses taken within that fiscal year.
        • 50% of the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $500 per employee maximum of $1000 per employee (described above) is available each fiscal year (September 1-August 31) for reimbursement of tuition fee costs only for courses taken within that fiscal year.
        • The Program does not cover non-tuition reimbursements such as books, seminars, conferences, certification exams, extension fees, membership fees, “one-time” activities, meals, lodging, transportation, or parking. Exceptions to these reimbursement conditions are on a case-by-case basis and require approval by the RHI Executive Team.
        • More detailed information on Tuition Assistance Program can be found at website https://www.rhiultrasound.com. Management of this instrument is the responsibility of the executive team. 
    • Educational Scholarships-Post-secondary Degrees (ESPD) and Graduate Assistance Program (GAP)
      • Tuition assistance is provided to employees who seek to advance their education through a post-secondary degree in a particular discipline, a master’s degree or doctorate degree at an accredited post-secondary institution
      • Funding under this program will be provided for up to four (4) years for each individual program, with each new program requiring a new application.
      • Eligibility and requirements for ESPD and GAP:
        • Eligible employees include all full-time (admin, support, academic) who have continuedly worked a 4 years period at RHI.
        • Eligible employees must have no disciplinary action initiated or ongoing against them at the time of application.
        • Eligible employees must remain employed by RHI throughout the duration of the program and for 2 years after completing the program of study. If an employee leaves voluntarily, the employee will be required to reimburse RHI according to the following schedule:
        • If an employee leaves within 12 months of completing the plan, 80% of the total expenses provided by RHI from the beginning of the plan must be reimbursed.
        • If the employee leaves within 13-24 months of the completion of the program, 50% of the total expenses provided by RHI from the start of the program must be reimbursed.
  • All postgraduate courses must be conducted at an accredited post-secondary institution approved by RHI.
    • Courses/Programs must satisfy at least one of the categories listed in 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 of this policy.
    • Preference will be given to employees with 3 or more years of service and with an outstanding performance record.
    • Priority will be given to employees pursuing their first post-secondary, Graduate or post graduate degree (or equivalent).
    • Priority will be given to employees who have not previously benefitted from this funding instrument or any other previously funded program such as the Employee Scholarship Fund (ESF).
    • To access the GAP instrument, employees must complete an application form.
    • Applicants will need to obtain approval and recommendation from their immediate supervisor on their application form.
    • Employees may access monetary assistance equal to 50% of their annual tuition fees up to a maximum of $5000 per year.
    • Monetary assistance is paid out in the form of a reimbursement for tuition fee costs only. This program does not cover non tuition reimbursements such as books, meals, lodgings, transportation or parking.
    • Each year the RHI will set its budget for the program. Yearly budgetary decision will depend on the utilization of the program fund and on the strategic financial investment RHI would strive to make towards employees’ professional development.
    • Each year the RHI will also declare the total number of awards, that will be granted pursuant to post-secondary, Degree and Post Graduate programs across Admin, Support and Faculty employees and a “call for applications” will be made.
    • Staff/Student office will manage this program, following the aboce criteria and will recommend eligible employees each year to the RHI Quality Assurance Committee.
    • Quality Assurance Committee will approve or decline all recommendations made by the Quality Assurance Committee.
    • Employees will be invited to submit an application package adhering to the following requirements.
    • Professional Development Leaves of Absence

The RHI endeavors to support all full-time (admin, support, academic) employees who wish to take a leave of absence without pay from regularly scheduled work to pursue RHI-approved academic or technical studies related to professional development outside RHI, particularly where such activities will enhance RHI commitment to exceptional student experience and leadership in teaching and learning. RHI’s policy related to professional development leaves of absence is administered in accordance with the terms set out in each applicable collective agreement.