News & Events
Ceremony on the Day of Mourning, April 28, 2023
Speaking at the Day of Mourning, a very moving ceremony held in Port Alberni, BC April 28, 2023. Hon. Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island–Pacific Rim and Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation; Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS; and Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay–Alberni.
National Day of Mourning
On April 28, known as the Day of Mourning, we honor people who have passed away, been sick or injured at work, or endured a tragedy at work. In Canada, 1,081 workplace fatalities were recorded by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) in 2021. Among these deaths, 18 were young workers aged between 15 to 24. In addition, 277,217 claims for lost time due to work-related injuries or illnesses were accepted by the AWCBC, including 34,548 claims from workers aged 15-24. However, these figures do not account for all cases, and it is expected that the actual number of affected workers is higher.
Scholarship Opportunities for BC Residents
Application Deadline: June 15, 2023.
The Scholarship opportunity to enroll in the Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) degree program is offered through the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS). This is a critical gateway to a highly desirable and rewarding professional career opportunity in the rapidly expanding field of Return to Work and Disability Management not only in BC, but across Canada and internationally. Please see the website at: https://www.pcu-whs.ca/programs/bdm/
Applicants for the Scholarship in the BDM program must be BC residents who have completed a 2-year diploma or other relevant educational prerequisites, which provide 60 credits (or equivalent) in a range of disciplines but preferably human resources, business, occupational health and safety, nursing or social work from a recognized post-secondary educational institution. A combination of professional experience and career education may also be considered under the Flexible Admission policy on a case-by-case basis. Applicants under Flexible Admission should have a minimum of 5-10 years of relevant experience in a related field.
Scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-qualified basis.
This limited Scholarship opportunity provides the following options:
- students can complete the BDM program in a two-year time frame as a full-time student (Scholarship applied to both years),
- participants can complete the BDM program in a four-year part-time format (Scholarship applied to first 2 years only)
commencing with the Fall trimester of 2023.
This Scholarship is designed to significantly increase the availability of disability management professionals and practitioners for British Columbia employers across all public and private sector organizations and be a major long-term strategic and sustainable workplace approach to “Building a Culture of Accommodation”. This strategy mirrors the successful outcomes seen in other jurisdictions across Canada and around the world where greater professionalization in the Return to Work and Disability Management field is significantly improving socio-economic outcomes for disabled workers, employers and society at large.
Individuals having completed the BDM will be encouraged to write the professional certification examinations for the designations of Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinators (CRTWC).
To download the WDA Scholarship Information Booklet, please click on the following link: WDA Information Booklet 2023
To download an Application Form in order to apply for a Scholarship, please click the following link: WDA-Grant-Scholarship-Application-Form 2023
- The scholarship program is made possible by funding to the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement (WDA).
- Candidates may apply for a scholarship for either the full-time or part-time 2+2 Bachelor in Disability Management (BDM) program.
- Each successful candidate will be entitled to $6,500 annually for each of the two years of the full-time 2+2 BDM program, or $3,250 annually for the first 2 years only of the four-year part-time 2+2 BDM program, applied towards tuition fees. Successful candidates for the part-time program will be responsible for covering the full tuition for the final 2 years of the part-time program.
- Scholarship funds will cover most of the annual course tuition per year provided, and can only be applied to tuition for the specialized courses required to complete the 2+2 BDM program.
- Candidates must:
- have completed at least 60 transferable academic credits from a recognized post-secondary institution (or equivalent; more information below).
- qualify for Admission Directly into Year 3 (i.e., 2+2 BDM program) by Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) / Flexible Admission.
- The scholarship program duration is 2 years for the 2-year full-time 2+2 BDM program, or the first 2 years of the 4-year part-time 2+2 BDM program. Recipients in the full-time program are expected to graduate within this 2-year time frame; those in the part-time program are responsible for the full tuition for the final 2 years of the program, and are expected to graduate at the completion of the 4th.
The percentage to which the annual scholarship will cover actual tuition costs will be contingent on the number of transfer credits with which prospective students will enter the degree program, and any additional courses that may be required.
Eligible individuals may apply for a scholarship for either the full-time or part-time 2+2 Bachelor in Disability Management (BDM) program.
The WDA Grant Scholarship will provide
- $6,500 annually for each of the 2 years of the full-time 2+2 BDM program, to cover most of the course tuition for the specialized courses required to complete the BDM degree. Applicants will be responsible for covering the balance of the tuition: approximately $1,120 per academic year for a student entering with 60 credits and with suitable research coursework. Textbooks, which are required by several courses, are not covered by the scholarship.
- $3,250 annually for the first 2 years only of the 4-year part-time 2+2 BDM program, to cover most of the course tuition for the first 2 years of specialized courses required to complete the BDM degree. Applicants will be responsible for covering the balance of the tuition for the first 2 years: approximately $560 per academic year for a student entering with 60 credits. Textbooks, which are required by several courses, are not covered by the scholarship. Applicants will be responsible for covering the full tuition and all other expenses of the final 2 years of the part-time program.
The WDA Grant Scholarship is open to candidates with landed immigrant or Canadian citizenship status who are permanent residents of British Columbia.
Successful candidates must:
- Meet the admission criteria of PCU-WHS.
In addition, successful candidates must qualify for Admission Directly into Year 3 of the BDM program (i.e., the 2+2 program). Your scholarship would then apply to the first 2 years of your 2+2 program. To qualify for Admission Directly into Year 3, applicants must:
- Have graduated with an associate degree, 2-year diploma, or other relevant educational prerequisites which provide 60 transferable academic credits (or equivalent) in a range of disciplines (preferred domains listed below).
- Current students must be attending a BC post-secondary institution.
- Students converting from an existing career path may have graduated from any university or college.
- Candidates with an average post-secondary GPA of 3.0 or higher will be preferred.
- Be eligible for Admission Directly into Year 3 (i.e., the 2+2 program) on the basis of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). A combination of professional experience and career education will be assessed under Flexible Admission policy on a case-by-case basis. Applicants under Flexible Admission should have a minimum of 5-10 years of relevant experience in a related field.
Preferred domains of the previous study include:
- Human Resources
- Occupational Health Safety
- Social Work
- An application fee of $100 is required.
- While the WDA Grant Scholarship will cover most of the tuition of the 2-year full-time 2+2 BDM program, or most of the tuition of the first 2 years of the 4-year part-time 2+2 BDM program, students are responsible for covering the balance of tuition: approximately $1,120 per academic year for the full-time program; or approximately $560 per academic year for the first 2 years of the part-time program, and approximately $3,810 per year for the final 2 years of the part-time program (as of December 2021).
- The costs of elective or additional courses, if required, are not covered by the Scholarship.
- There will be other incidental costs, including costs of textbooks and other materials, which are not covered by the Scholarship.
- The cost of a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) review for Flexible Admission ($400) is not covered by the Scholarship.
- The cost of a PLAR request for any specialized BDM course is not covered by the Scholarship.
- Fees for any course not completed within the Scholarship period will be the responsibility of the student.
- The percentage of actual tuition costs that the annual Scholarship will cover will be contingent on the number of transfer credits with which prospective students enter the degree program.
- Students who do not have suitable research coursework or experience may be required to take a 300-level research course prior to entering their final year of the program. This course (WHDM 306) is not covered by the Scholarship.
The WDA Grant Scholarship will apply to:
- the full 2 years of the full-time 2+2 BDM program, commencing with the Fall 2023 trimester and terminating with the Spring 2025 trimester.
- the first 2 years only of the 4-year part-time 2+2 BDM program, commencing with the Fall 2023 trimester and terminating with the Spring 2025 trimester. You can anticipate completion of the part-time program 2 years later (Spring 2027 trimester) without Scholarship funding.
- Successful candidates are required to attend the PCU-WHS full-time or part-time online 2+2 BDM program beginning in September 2023.
- You are also required to attend an online orientation to the program in advance of the first academic term.
- You must maintain an academic standing of 3.0 or higher each trimester throughout your studies. If you fail to achieve this, you will be given the following trimester to restore your standing.
- You must be in a position to register in the full-time or part-time 2+2 Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) program beginning in September 2023, and to complete the degree within a 2-year period for the full-time program or 4-year period for the part-time program.
- To qualify for admission to the full-time WDA Grant Scholarship program, you must not be working full-time.
PCU-WHS is located in Port Alberni, British Columbia, but all BDM courses are offered exclusively online. Residents of British Columbia can study from their city or town of residence.
All courses at PCU-WHS are offered online by highly qualified faculty with a depth of multidisciplinary experience.
Students require a computer, an Internet connection (high-speed internet is recommended), and internet browser software to participate in the courses. Students should have a computer with a sound card and speakers to listen to course videos and audio, plus a microphone to participate in synchronous sessions. All courses require a word processing application such as Microsoft Word. Individual courses may have additional software requirements. Technical assistance is available for all courses.
The online platform provides you with:
- 24-hour access to course resources and materials.
- More opportunities to directly communicate with faculty.
- Constructive interaction with other students.
- Greater flexibility and convenience in managing your time. (Courses are not self-paced, however; timelines for coursework are provided.)
- An environment to participate at a time and place best suited to your needs.
- Additional time to reflect before responding to discussions and other activities.
- An environment where the independent learner flourishes.
Students will have 24-hour access to most course resources, activities, and materials. The few synchronous activities (Zoom sessions, student presentations) will be scheduled in the Pacific time zone.
Full-time 2+2 BDM program: For students who are not employed full-time.
- Completion of the BDM program in 2 years
- Completion of a minimum of ten (10) 3-credit courses per year
- Typically: 4 courses in the Fall trimester, 3 courses in the Winter trimester, 3 courses in the Spring trimester.
- The courses for the 2+2 BDM program are 12-week courses, with an anticipated time commitment of 8-9 hours per week per course, including approximately 4 hours on the required readings and 4 hours on either a discussion exercise or assignment. Expect to be enrolled in at least 3 courses per trimester.
Part-time 2+2 BDM program: For students who are employed full-time.
- Completion of the BDM program in 4 years
- Completion of a minimum of five (5) 3-credit courses per year
- Typically: 2 courses in the Fall trimester, 1-2 courses in the Winter trimester, 1-2 courses in the Spring trimester.
- The courses for the 2+2 BDM program are 12-week courses, with an anticipated time commitment of 8-9 hours per week per course, including approximately 4 hours on the required readings and 4 hours on either a discussion exercise or assignment. Expect to be enrolled in 1-2 courses per trimester.
|2+2 BDM Program|
|Time to completion of program||2 years||4 years|
|Minimum number of courses per year||10||5|
|Duration of each course||12 weeks||12 weeks|
|Number of courses taken at one time||3 or 4, depending on trimester||1 or 2, depending on trimester|
|Time commitment per week per course||8 hours||8 hours|
All expressions of interest and applications must be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at PCU-WHS (see contact information below).
To apply, submit a WDA Grant Scholarship application package which includes:
- Completed WDA Grant Scholarship 2023 Application Form
- An application fee of $100
- Reflective essay
- Official transcripts issued from previous post-secondary institutions
- Letters of Attestation (2) for previous work experience
The WDA Scholarship can only be applied to the first 2 years of the 4-year part-time program. Applicants will be responsible for covering the full tuition and all other expenses of the final 2 years of the part-time program.
Applications packages must be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at PCU-WHS, and can be sent by email, Canada Post, or courier to:
WDA Grant Scholarship
Office of the Registrar
Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences
4755 Cherry Creek Road
Port Alberni, BC V9Y 0A7
Application packages must be received in their entirety no later than June 15, 2023.
Scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-qualified basis.
Successful applicants will be notified by July 15, 2023 (for applications received after May 1).
Successful applicants (for applications received after May 1) must notify PCU-WHS that they have accepted the Scholarship by July 25, 2023. If the Scholarship is declined, it will be awarded to an individual on the waiting list, who will be notified of their success by July 30, 2023.
The WDA Grant Scholarship is designed to:
- Significantly increase availability of Disability Management Professionals for BC employers.
- Build enhanced recognition of the importance of effective Return to Work programs and the priority of maintaining employment for disabled workers.
- Reduce the unacceptable poverty rate of people with disabilities.
- Improve socio-economic outcomes for disabled workers, employers, and society at large through greater professionalization of those working in the Return to Work / Disability Management field.
- Approximately 80 percent of disabling conditions occur during an individual’s working life.
- Disability benefit recipients have less than a one percent chance of exiting the social security benefit system to enter into employment.
- This results in dependency and poverty for individuals with disabilities, unsustainable social protection costs, and increasing numbers of disability benefit recipients.
- About 25 percent of all Canadians living in poverty today ─ an estimated 1.4 million individuals ─ are people with disabilities.
- Effective Disability Management programs can make a crucial contribution to reducing poverty in Canada by promoting workplace health, preventing disabilities, and avoiding loss of employment due to a disabling condition.
Disability Management interventions are designed to:
- Reduce the likelihood that workers will acquire an impairment that could place their jobs at risk.
- Engage with workers with disabilities, before they have lost their attachment to their employer, to enhance the likelihood they will retain and return to their jobs.
- Reduce the number of workers exiting the active labour market and entering into the disability benefits system.
Early intervention is at the core of an effective Disability Management approach.
A key success factor in effective Disability Management programs is a consensus-based process based on collaboration between management and worker representatives, often enshrined in a collective agreement, and overseen by a joint management-labour committee.
Disability Management Professionals work internally within their own organizations or externally as providers to:
- Develop positive workplace health and job retention policies.
- Promote a positive and proactive workplace health and return to work organizational culture.
- Promote and protect the health and productivity of the workforce.
- Support workers with health conditions to remain at work.
- Assist workers absent on health grounds to safely return to the workplace.
Disability Management Professionals work collaboratively with management, unions or employee organizations, insurance providers, government agencies, health care providers and others.
Disability Management Professionals work as human resource professionals, workplace health specialists, case managers, return to work coordinators or in a variety of related areas.
Prospective places of employment for Disability Management Professionals include:
- Industrial work sites
- Corporate offices
- Insurance companies
- Service providers
- Human resources departments
- Workers’ compensation organizations
There is an opportunity for experienced professionals to establish their own businesses offering disability management contract services to local employers.
- Graduates of the BDM Program may go on to further studies and are recognized under the eligibility qualifications to write the professional certification examinations for the designations of:
- Certified Disability Management Professional – CDMP
- Certified Return to Work Coordinator – CRTWC
once they have met all of the following eligibility criteria:
- Successful completion of the Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) degree
- Completed a minimum of 1 year performing the roles and responsibilities (during the last 5 years) with at least 50% or more of the time in the delivery of DM services, supervised by a qualified DM supervisor or management representative responsible for DM.
- The BDM is accepted by the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University as a qualifying program for consideration of acceptance to its:
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Science in Management
- Master of Health Administration
In a survey by the Canadian HR Reporter, it was found that 90 percent of business leaders say the value of professional designations is increasing.
For information regarding the WDA Grant Scholarship that is not addressed in the FAQs, please contact:
4755 Cherry Creek Road
Port Alberni, BC
Canada V9Y 0A7
Phone: 778-421-0824, ext. 209
Due to high number of inquiries, there may be delays in receiving a response. We prioritize those who have submitted an application with associated application fees.
Funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Annual observance of this day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. The theme for the 2022 global observance is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”, and covers three topics:
– Innovation for disability inclusive development in employment
– Innovation for disability inclusive developing in reducing inequality
– Innovation for disability inclusive development: sport as an exemplar case
Appointment of Kara Arnold, PhD as Chief Academic Officer
We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Kara Arnold, PhD, as PCU-WHS’s Chief Academic Officer. In this consulting role, Kara will provide invaluable support to educational delivery and development aspects, including the academic and continuing education components of PCU-WHS.
Support for Canadian Residents for DM / RTW Continuing Education
This special initiative for Canadian Residents is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and provides a limited number of free Continuing Education courses in Disability Management and Return to Work. For further details on this Continuing Education opportunity, please visit: Support for Canadian Residents for DM / RTW Continuing Education
Bachelor of Disability Management degree graduates honoured at global virtual convocation ceremony
On October 19, Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) welcomed its 2022 class of graduates, 10 new recipients who have earned a Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) degree.
PCU-WHS― a leading edge University in education and research for excellence in the field of disability management and return to work ― held an online convocation ceremony with faculty, government officials, and graduates from various time zones, ranging from North America to Europe, Africa and Australia.
PCU-WHS Newsletter Vol 9 Issue 36 October 2022 BDM Degree Graduates Honoured
Welcoming our Member of Parliament, Gord Johns!
Welcoming our Member of Parliament, Gord Johns.
With significant national attention focused on the ongoing developments regarding a Canada Disability Benefit and the recently released Canada Disability Inclusion Action Plan, MP Gord Johns wanted to learn more about current challenges facing persons with disabilities and potential positive opportunities.
Following the weekend Global News article (see link below), discussions centered on the fact that highly inequitable employment opportunities for persons with disabilities are a major contributor. We need to break the vicious disability – poverty – unemployment cycle.
More than 80% of mental and physical health impairments occur during a person’s working life, so maintaining workplace attachment through effective Disability Management programs is key towards “Building a Culture of Accommodation,” reducing disability stigma, and is required to build a Disability Inclusion society.
How poverty, not pain, is driving Canadians with disabilities to consider medically-assisted death
Building a Culture of Accommodation Inclusion and Equity for Disabled Workers
The Accessible Canada Act, introduced in 2018 and which received Royal Assent and came into force in July 2019, is “An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada.”
The definition of “Barrier” in the Act “means anything – including anything physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal, anything that is based on information or communications or anything that is the result of a policy or a practice – that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation.”
The National Executive Steering Committee for the special initiative that NIDMAR is currently undertaking requested a Fact Sheet that sets out the current situation in Canada today.
Funding for the initiative is provided under the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, and covers support through education, professionalization, and program assessments – all related to Disability Management and Return to Work.
Continuing Education Available for BC Residents
Free access to Continuing Education courses in Disability Management and Return to Work for BC Residents. For details and to download an application form, please visit: BC Workplaces Supported with DM and RTW Continuing Education
Scholarship Opportunities for BC Residents- Application Deadline Extended to July 15
This Scholarship opportunity is for BC Residents to enroll in the Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) degree program. Applicants must have completed a 2-year diploma or other relevant educational prerequisites which provide 60 credits in a range of disciplines. Deadline for applications is July 15, 2022. For details please visit the following webpage: Scholarship Opportunities for BC Residents through WDA Grant
Appointment of Tyler Amell, PhD, as Registrar
Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS, is pleased to welcome Tyler Amell, PhD, to the position of Registrar. As a long-time professor and supporter of PCU-WHS, Dr. Amell accepted the role stating, “It was an opportunity to contribute to the University’s greater success and it was appealing to me to join with Wolfgang and the top leadership now in place.” Please click on the link below to view the newsletter announcement.
PCU-WHS Newsletter Vol 9 Issue 35 July 2022 Appointment of Tyler Amell, PhD, as Registrar
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
“I urge all countries to fully implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, increase accessibility, and dismantle legal, social, economic and other barriers with the active involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.”
– António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations
NIDMAR’s goal is to stop the Disability–Poverty cycle through effective Return to Work programs to ensure continued Employment for people with mental or physical health impairments.
CDMP Awards in Scotland 2021
In 2016, the Scottish government committed to increase the employment opportunities for people with disabilities. One of the methods chosen to address the employment gap was the training of 300 individuals to become Certified Disability Management Professionals (CDMPs) to serve the country’s public and private sectors dedicated to maintaining meaningful employment for workers with long-term health conditions, injuries, or disabilities.
To read more on the success achieved to date, please click on the following link to the Communique.
Congratulations to Bachelor of Disability Management Class of 2021!
We were so proud to celebrate, on Friday Oct 22, our 2021 Bachelor of Disability Management Program graduates with our online graduation celebration! Such an inspiring group of students! We would like to thank our valedictorian Ashley Anna O’Neill who shared her inspiring words with us. We would also like to thank our amazing speakers, Sari Sairanen, Dean Winsor, Susan Patrick, Trevor Alexander, and Wolfgang Zimmermann. Special thanks to MP Gord Johns for his support and contribution and of course our Chancellor, the Hon. Wayne G. Wouters, OC, PC for his graduation address.
Here is to the class of 2021!
Watch the graduation ceremony here:
National Day For Truth and Reconciliation
SOCSO’s Regional Return to Work Symposium – DIGIMOS 2021
SOCSO’s Regional RTW DIGIMOS Symposium 2021 took place September 6 and 7, 2021. It aimed to attract participants from diverse levels and professional backgrounds from Southeast Asian countries, and with the goal of helping to reinvigorate Malaysia’s labor industry by sharing information and best practices for recovering from the pandemic.
The theme of this year’s RTW DIGIMOS Symposium was “Navigating Disability Management through the New Normal: Return to Work Process-Re-Engineering”.
The IDMSC contributed a presentation highlighting the international standards as well as an initiative currently taking place in British Columbia, Canada under a government grant entitled “Building a Culture of Accommodation in the Workplace. This presentation is featured in the video and begins with introductions around the 42:00 minute mark.
The full video can be seen at:
Graduation Event for New CDMPs Held in Scotland
An event took place during the last week of August in Scotland to present the certificates to the individuals who passed the CDMP professional certification examinations that took place at the end of May 2021. Dr. Norma Clark, Project Manager for the Scottish Government attended along with Graham Halsey who acted as MC for the event.