​​The following describes financial assistance for employees who participate in learning and development initiatives. It covers forms of assistance, receiving and repaying financial assistance, assistance for education leave, and assessing requests.

Forms of financial assistance

The deputy head or designate is authorized to approve any financial assistance requests according to the department's business plans and human resource needs. The amount of financial assistance an employee is awarded is based on factors such as organizational needs and priorities, cost effectiveness, and the employee's contribution to the organization – see Assessing Requests for Financial Assistance for Workforce Development​ (PDF, 16 KB).

Financial assistance for an approved learning or development initiative can take a variety of forms. Assistance may include course costs, salary, or both. It may also cover subsistence expenses as set out in the ​subsistence, travel, and relocation expenses directives.

Financial assistance includes various approved leaves of absence, such as fully or partially paid leaves and employee-funded leaves, as well as full or partial course subsidies. Part-time work options may also be combined with financial assistance. For more information, see directives Leave of Absence with Pay and Leave of Absence Without Pay.

Receiving financial assistance

An employee can receive financial assistance in the following ways:

  • the organization pays costs directly (for example, when the initiative takes place during normal working hours or where financial assistance is provided for education leave)
  • employees are reimbursed for course costs or other approved expenses upon successful completion of the development initiative (for example, when the initiative takes place outside normal working hours)
  • employees on an approved education leave may receive an approved percentage of their salary as part of the financial assistance
  • expenditures incurred within the fiscal year may be submitted for reimbursement at any time throughout the fiscal year, subject to department financial year end processing guidelines
  • original receipts for the goods or service must be provided for reimbursement

If employees receive financial assistance, based on management judgment, for example, an approved education leave, for a learning and development initiative that involves significant investment, they may be required to enter into a return service commitment. The ​Ap​plication for a Development Initiative (PDF, 231 KB)​ may be used to obtain the deputy head's approval for this kind of financial assistance.

Financial assistance for education leave

Education leave is a leave of absence for educational purposes during which employees are paid a percentage of salary. Education leave is not considered service for the purpose of fulfilling a return service commitment.

The deputy head may change the period of an approved education leave if significant organizational requirements warrant such change.

About this directive

Authority: Public Service Act (Section 28)
Application: Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date: April 1, 2005 (updated April 1, 2010)
Contact: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Leadership and Talent Development; Learning and Development

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