Professional Development

How to access PD funds & other FAQs

November 2022

Note: relevant parts of the Collective Agreement are in Article 23.

For further information or for questions not answered on this page, please contact Raged Anwar [email protected], LFA VP and Chair of the PDSF Committee.

What is the Professional Development Support Fund (PDSF) Committee?

As per section 23 of the Collective Agreement, the PDSF Committee disperses the PD Support Fund in order to enable LFA members to engage in their own professional development activities. It is an LFA Committee run by and for faculty. Members include the LFA Vice President (Chair), each Division Chair, and the Chairs of Counselling, Educational Technology, Library Services, and TCDC. For more information, see the PDSF Committee Terms of Reference.

Approximately how much PD does a full-time faculty member get annually?

The number varies slightly from year to year but from 2017 to 2022, the annual PD allocation per full-time faculty member has ranged between $1,000 and $1,100. Departments normally distribute the funds to their members based on individual's FTE workload or leave over the previous year, but may choose to distribute the funds in a different way.

When are annual PD fund allocations distributed?

The aim is to distribute annual PD fund allocations by May 1st. In some recent years releases were delayed well beyond that, for logistical reasons. The target for 2023 is May-June.

How can I find out what my current PD balance is?

Check with your Department Chair, Division Chair or Division Assistant.

Do unspent PD funds carry over?

Yes, unspent individual and department PD funds carry over year to year.

When can I claim PD expenses?

You can claim PD expenses at any time of year (except during College closure over the winter holiday break).

You must be a faculty member and a current Langara employee to claim your PD funds, so you cannot claim them when you are between contracts, on leave to take an acting administrative position at Langara (such as a Dean), or after you retire. When a faculty member has retired or quit, or a temporary faculty has not worked at Langara for two years plus a day, their PD funds go back into the department's PD fund pool. Otherwise, faculty can claim their PD funds (which will be waiting for them) as soon as they return to work.

What types of PD expenses can I claim?

PD funds may be used to fund a wide range of professional development activities, resources, services or supports. Departments may have differing PD needs within their disciplines, so there can be considerable variation in the types of expenses approved. Examples of common PD expense claims include courses, workshops, conferences, travel expenses, computer equipment, computer peripherals, tablets, smart phones, and/or expenses related to working from home such as cell phone charges (text, minutes and/or data), Internet fees, or office furniture.

Who approves PD expense claims?

PD expense claims are submitted online via Workday. They are approved first by your Department Chair and next by either your Division Chair (for instructional faculty) or by the LFA VP (for non-instructional faculty). Instructional faculty also need to submit a PD Expense Claim form to their Division Assistant. This form is necessary for Division Assistants to track individual and departmental PD fund balances, which currently can't be done by them within Workday.

How is the annual PD allocation calculated?

As per article 23.1.1, on April 1st every year the College allocates no less than 0.9% of total faculty salary into the PD Support Fund. The funds are distributed to departments based on the FTE work or eligible leave contributed by department members over the previous year.

The PDSF Committee has consistently reaffirmed an equity principle with PD allocations: that PD allocations are accrued based on the amount of work or eligible leave from the previous year, not as a percentage of individual salary. That is, a full-time faculty at the top of scale accrues the same PD allocation as a full-time faculty at a lower salary step.

What types of leaves accrue PD?

  • Leaves that accrue PD:
    Leave for Illness or Injury (sick leave), Compassionate or Family Illness Leave, Compassionate Care Leave, Maternity and Parental Leave, Bereavement Leave, Funeral leave, Union Leave, Leave of Absence for College Committees, Jury Duty and Court Appearances, Exchange Leave, Education Leave, Leave for Domestic or Sexual Violence.
  • Leaves that do not accrue PD:
    Personal Leave, Public Service Leave of Absence, Deferred Salary Leave, Renewal Leave of Excellence, Short-Term Disability (STD), Long-Term Disability (LTD).

When will I get professional development time?

When instructional faculty get a Regularized contract, NID time is included as part of that contract. Instructional faculty use this time for both non-instructional activities and professional development activities, as approved by their department chair. Be sure to complete the appropriate forms prior to your NID term and at the end of your NID time.

Non-instructional faculty (such as counselors and librarians) can apply to their department chair for time to carry out some PD activities.