Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.39
Liaison Christine Pinkham
Submission Date March 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

British Columbia Institute of Technology
EN-9: Staff Professional Development and Training

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution make available professional development and training opportunities in sustainability to all non-academic staff at least once per year?:
Yes

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (the rate of staff participation in sustainability professional development and training)?:
Yes

Estimated percentage of regular, non-academic staff that participates annually in sustainability professional development and training:
25-49%

A brief description of any internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities that the institution makes available to non-academic staff:

At BCIT, we believe that supporting the learning goals of all employees is a fundamental element of our commitment to our current and future success. Renewing and upgrading skills will help staff to maintain professional currency for today while building towards what they want to do tomorrow. Learning should be practical, interesting, and focused on the employee’s needs. There are many internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities for non-academic staff.

BCIT offers our sustainability-focused and sustainability-inclusive courses free of charge to employees by waiving the tuition fee. If there are additional material or instructional costs incurred, employees may access these courses through Professional Development/Educational Assistance funds to pay the course fee.

Professional Development (PD) Funds are available to non-academic staff including support staff and management. Eligible activities for funding include:
• Tuition, registration fees for courses, seminars, workshops or conferences.
• Diplomas, certificates, or degrees where they are related to the employee’s current position or related career goals.
• Required textbooks and/or related materials for approved PD activities.
• Professional Development is not limited to BCIT courses and the funds may be used for credit and non-credit courses.

BCIT offers a free online Climate Change 101 course for non-academic staff, faculty and students. The objective of this online course is to help all members of the BCIT community understand their influence on climate, and climate’s influence on them.

BCIT Professional Development Day is a biennial event that is free and is designed to enhance the learning community for all staff and faculty. Staff have the opportunity to learn, mingle, and rejuvenate through the variety of activities throughout the day. PD Day 2018’s theme was “From Knowing to Doing”. The day consisted of 82 learning sessions with over 1,400+ registrants and 128 presenters. Some of the sustainability topics offered included:
• Living Labs of Sustainability. The sustainability work in the Factor Four area and the High Performance Building Lab were showcased in a short presentation followed by a tour.
• Introduction to Electric Cars. An introductory overview of electric and hybrid cars.
• Carved Code: Extending Indigenous Storytelling into the Digital Sphere. An opportunity to learn about the traditional Coast Salish Housepost that proudly stands in the atrium of the Gateway building at the Burnaby campus. Carved into the design of the post is the story of BCIT’s past, present and future. Also carved into the post is a QR code linking the traditional to the digital.
• Introduction to Queer Competency. For anyone who wanted to understand diversity and be more inclusive towards queer, trans, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ/2S) people.
• Ecocities and the 2019 Ecocity World Summit. All about sustainability and cities built in balance with nature.
• Hidden Passions: creativity in reuse and repurposing. A showcase of employee art.
• Rewild your garden. A tour of the BCIT community garden with a demonstration on how creating and maintaining a garden is good for your well-being as well as the pollinators and birds that share the environment.
• Growing Salad Greens Indoors – a hands on workshop to learn an easy sustainable way to grow salad microgreens indoors.
• International student recruitment and admissions. To assist and empower faculty to design programs that consider international students’ success and the value added that international students bring to the institute.
PD Day 2020 had five themes: Environmental Sustainability, Career, Teaching, Technology, and Well-Being. It was scheduled for April 24, 2020 but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. It will be back in the future.

Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships offers Indigenous training and resources for both non-academic staff and faculty:
• Indigenous 101 is a series of workshops designed to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Participants learn about terminology, true history of Canada, the Indian Act, contemporary reality, and the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. This initiative also demonstrates BCIT’s commitment in meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, respect for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and ensuring our community is informed and provided with opportunities to meet and discuss Indigenous issues and paths forward.
• BCIT has created three Indigenous Awareness Modules to be used by all in the BCIT community. The modules complement and expand on the Indigenous 101 workshops. The modules are open-sourced and they are accessible to anyone that wants to learn more about Indigenous people, their history, and their relationship with Canada.
• The Indigenous Book Club is aimed at growing understanding of Indigenous history, culture and tradition and is open to staff and faculty. All are welcome to join and explore Indigenous history and experiences shared through stories authored by Indigenous peoples. The club was kicked off with two books—“21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act” by Bob Joseph and “Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality” by Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph. Copies of the books are available to borrow through Indigenous Services. Book Dine and Dialogues have moved to an online format due to COVID-19.
• Traditional sweat lodge ceremonies are open to BCIT students, staff and faculty. In Indigenous culture, the sweat lodge structure empowers the natural elements of our being with the four elements of water, air, fire, and earth. Each element brings a quality of balance to our lives through prayer and purification. A lodge ceremony is a gentle and caring approach to the cleansing of mind, body, and spirit. Through the experience, the body is cleansed of the toxins which aids in the de-stressing of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. The non-threatening, non-imposing, and safe environment allows one to seek their greater power with all cultures. As one participates in the ceremony, they are purified with breathing, meditating, and in the sharing of words, prayers, songs, and storytelling.

The Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) office helps BCIT foster a respectful and inclusive working and learning environment by creating awareness and belonging through education, events, and training. RDI Services and Initiatives include:
• Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Training
• Respectful Workplace Training

Diversity Circles is an initiative housed in the RDI office. Diversity Circles holds panels, workshops, focus groups, and other events for the BCIT community, to support engaging in safe and productive conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity Circles events are open to all members of the wider BCIT community including staff, faculty, students, the BCIT Student Association, and BCIT alumni, as well as inviting guests from industry and other stakeholders to participate. Since 2015, Diversity Circles has held over 150 events and consultations.

Human Resources has developed a robust employee wellness program, Wellness Works. The program is designed to encourage staff and faculty to prioritize their own health by maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Wellness Works promotes a culture of wellness and resilience throughout our community by providing our people with education, resources, and support to create and sustain the healthiest workplace possible, where employees can thrive. Wellness is a lifestyle and Wellness Works takes a holistic approach – with an emphasis on the body, mind, and spirit – to enhance qualify of life and achieve a work-life balanced lifestyle. Wellness events vary from workshops, lunch & learns and online activities to articles and more.


A brief description of any external professional development and training opportunities in sustainability that are supported by the institution :

Staff members are able to attend a variety of professional conferences, workshops, webinars etc. paid for or reimbursed by the university through Professional Development funds. Examples of opportunities in sustainability supported by BCIT in the last three years include:
• The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education.
• 2019 Ecocity World Summit. Ecocity World Summit addresses the way humanity builds its home. It promote the understanding and development of cities that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, economically prosperous and fair, and socially just and caring. Also known as ECOCITY, these inspiring gatherings of urban stakeholders from across the globe focus on key actions cities and citizens can take to rebuild our human habitat in balance with living systems.
• The Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) - a platform for inspiring change, facilitating action, and promoting collaboration around sustainability within the Cascadia region's higher education institutions.
• Union of BC Municipalities Annual Convention. The theme of the 2019 Convention was Resiliency and Change. Big or small, rural or urban, communities are experiencing change at an unprecedented rate. From climate change to economic pressures, local governments are on the front lines managing the local impact of complex issues.


Estimated percentage of regular non-academic staff for which sustainability is included in performance reviews:
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A brief description of how sustainability is included in staff performance reviews :
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Website URL where information about staff professional development and training in sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.