Agreement Announced between CPHR New Brunswick / CRHA Nouveau-Brunswick and PCU-WHS

Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is pleased to announce the signing of an Agreement with CPHR New Brunswick / CRHA Nouveau-Brunswick providing their members with the pre-approval for CPD hours of the 25 courses in the online Disability Management Practitioner Program.

The Chartered Professionals in Human Resources New Brunswick was established in 1996 to meet the needs for the growth and recognition of HR professionals in New Brunswick. CPHR New Brunswick / CRHA Nouveau-Brunswick is a bilingual association whose purpose is to promote and encourage members to develop and maintain a professional standard of knowledge and proficiency in their occupational field. The association’s mandate includes attaining recognition as a resource on employment issues, as well as promoting and gaining acceptance of the Human Resources field for the distinct body of knowledge it provides in business.

The CPHR competency framework includes “Health, Wellness and Safe Workplace” with responsibilities in these areas falling to the HR professional in the organization. The 25 courses in the online Disability Management Practitioner Program consist of topic areas that are key to successful health and wellness and return to work of an organization’s employees.

As recent surveys have indicated, the responsibilities for disability management and return to work often fall to the HR professional in an organization who has often had no specific training to assist them in this complex area of practice. By providing this opportunity, CPHR New Brunswick / CRHA Nouveau-Brunswick offers these 25 topic areas, all of which are relevant to the HR professional, at a preferred pricing registration to their members. And the focus has become even more relevant in today’s world under COVID-19 where a large percentage of employees are struggling with work/life balance while working from home and at the same time trying to cope with family members who are also working / schooling from home; or potentially, the fear of return to work in today’s environment. All of these issues land on the desk of the HR professional who is already overwhelmed.

A recent survey of the Federal Public Service, with about 260,000 members across Canada, indicated that in almost two-thirds of the cases of an onset of an individual’s mental/physical health impairment, the employee’s immediate supervisor turned to a Labour Relations or Human Resources advisor/officer as a first point of contact in order to identify accommodation support and options. This approach is very consistent with many other organizations, public or private, across Canada and internationally, where Labour Relations and/or Human Resources functions are established. Having knowledgeable, experienced and collaborative approaches embraced by Human Resources Professionals can often lead to much improved outcomes for the individuals affected by retaining valuable workers for the organization they are employed by and ultimately reducing the often significant inflow into various aspects of our social security/benefit systems from which exiting is often very difficult and challenging, resulting in long term dependence, to the detriment of all stakeholders.

For further details, please see website at:


Preserving the University’s carved figure and remembering the healing message it depicts

Visitors to the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) always stop to admire and photograph the west coast carved figure presiding over the entrance hall. This custom woodcarving welcomes all who arrive here and offers the opportunity to acknowledge that the University is on the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth people and to give thanks for the privilege of sharing this land today. “It’s so iconic to everyone who comes here” noted PCU-WHS president, Wolfgang Zimmermann.

The original installation of this custom art piece was not just as an appreciation for local Tseshaht / Nuu-chah-nulth artist and carver Gordon Dick’s work and to show recognition for the West Coast First Nations culture in this area. In fact, the carving was commissioned specifically for the grand opening of the University in 2011 and was designed to align with the focus and intentions of the University’s founders, partners and students. The figure on the pole depicts ‘?uštaqyuu’ a traditional healer or shaman, whose life and purpose is dedicated to the practice of healing mind, body and spirit – the closest western equivalent is ‘doctor’.

Gordon Dick recalls his first meeting with Wolfgang Zimmermann back in 2011 to discuss creating a statement piece for the new facility. “We talked initially about creating a large panel to hang on the wall and then I mentioned that my good friend Ray Sim, who is another artist, had this conceptual design of ?uštaqyuu and he had created a maquette [a miniature version]”. Subsequently the initial concept for an    ?uštaqyuu figure pole was selected for the University’s feature piece.

Today, nine years after its original installation, the artist returned to PCU-WHS to review the stability and condition of the wood and maintain the carving for many more years to come. The process involved inspection, cleaning and re-applying a coat of citrus oil to seal the surface. The 9 ft pole was carved from a 500-year-old tree that came from the Uchucklesaht /Kildonan area (on the West side of Barkley Sound approximately 25km along the inlet from Port Alberni).

Dick explained that the citrus oil will help to once again bring out to the beauty of the wood grain that has slowly faded over the years, as well as providing a protective layer to help preserve the carving. While he worked to restore and maintain the figure pole, Dick reminded us of all of the additional elements that he added to the carving and spoke to the significance of each of them.

“?uštaqyuu is performing a prayer while holding a rattle, and for our region the visual signature for a rattle is a grouse…the crystal he is holding represents the gift of healing he is receiving and is also about to give away… if we look back far enough into our history people were more in touch with nature and that was true for ?uštaqyuu, who (whether female or male)  had as their gift and their role in the community to be a healer or a shaman. The foliage on the base symbolizes knowledge and medicines derived from nature and earth. The presence of the frog in nature is an indicator of the health of the water source and so this frog represents a medicine helper who assists and guides

Those meanings and depictions offer a warm welcome and the gift of healing to anyone who visits Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. 2020 has been a challenging time for so many people around the world and we are thankful more than ever for ?uštaqyuu’s omnipresent message and symbolism.

PCU-WHS Receives Approval of EQA Designation

PCU-WHS is pleased to announce that its application for the Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation in British Columbia has been approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Institutions carrying the EQA designation meet criteria beyond what is required by legislation, regulatory bodies and accreditation processes. This means:

  • Students can be assured they will receive a minimum standard of educational quality
  • The institution also meets legislated requirements
  • The institution is in good standing with related education bodies
  • The institution meets EQA suitability requirements and is abiding by the EQA Standards of Conduct

CPHR Nova Scotia and PCU-WHS Sign Agreement

Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is very pleased to announce the signing of an Agreement with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Nova Scotia (CPHR Nova Scotia). The Agreement provides their members with CPD pre-approval of the 25 courses in the online Disability Management Practitioner Program.

The roots of CPHR Nova Scotia date back to 1945 when a small group of personnel practitioners sought a better way to network, and throughout the years since those early days, CPHR Nova Scotia has been providing vision and leadership to the human resources profession. CPHR Nova Scotia is the exclusive granting body of the CPHR designation in Nova Scotia.

CPHR Nova Scotia is committed to the promotion of sound principles and best practices in the human resources profession and to workplace excellence. It is with this in mind that CPHR Nova Scotia signed the Agreement which provides their members with a preferred pricing registration rate to any or all of the 25 topic areas covered in the Disability Management Practitioner Program – all of which are relevant to the HR profession and fit with the CPHR competency framework, especially those whose responsibilities include return to work. CPHR Nova Scotia is a founding member of CPHR Canada.

PCU-WHS has offered courses online since 2014, with highly experienced faculty from across Canada and around the world. It has the knowledge and experience to deliver courses using an online learning management system and technologies that enable students to complete their course work at a time and place most convenient for them, and to schedule the number of courses that works best for them.

With a significant restructuring of many aspects of our economy, like the rapidly increasing ‘gig’ aspects of our working lives, HR professionals must respond to these ever changing circumstances by driving an innovation, collaboration and thought leadership agenda. But few, if any challenges facing the HR professional are, most often, as complex and difficult as those brought about by an individual being confronted with the onset of a significant mental or physical health impairment which not only affects the individual’s personal health but often also has far-reaching financial, family and career impacts.

The HR professional’s knowledgeable and committed front line engagement in many of these instances can often mean the difference between a successful win-win socio-economic outcome for all parties, or the potential for lasting conflict between the parties, and many times unemployment, poverty or worse for the individual affected. Experience from across Canada and around the world has clearly demonstrated that the level of knowledge, skills and competence on the part of the HR professional can have a significant impact on the successful resolution of such challenging circumstances.

For further details, please see website at:

Announcement of Partnership between CPHR Alberta and PCU-WHS

Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is pleased to announce the signing of an Agreement with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta (CPHR Alberta) for CPD pre-approval of the 25 courses in the online Disability Management Practitioner Program for their membership.

This program offers a range of topic areas that fall within the CPHR competency framework and would be of interest to those tasked with disability management and return to work-related activities. Members can enroll in the complete program or in select courses that are topic areas of interest. The Agreement is of benefit to CPHR Alberta members as it provides a preferred pricing registration rate.

As PCU-WHS has offered courses online since 2014, with highly experienced faculty from across Canada and around the world, it has the knowledge and experience to deliver courses using an online learning management system and technologies that enable students to complete their course work at a time and place most convenient for them, and to schedule the number of courses that works best for them.

Each continuing education course offering takes place over one week, requiring participants to read the course manual, participate in the online discussion forum during the week, and complete and submit an assignment one week after the online course has been completed. Each course is instructor-led by an expert in the particular topic area being presented, who not only has a minimum of a graduate degree in their professional field but must also have practical experience related to disability management and return to work. Upon successful completion of the course, the University provides the participant with a transcript for 12 continuing education hours.

CPHR Alberta is the professional association dedicated to strengthening the human resources profession and upholding the highest standards of practice. With 6,000 members in rural and major cities across Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, CPHR Alberta is the third largest HR Association in Canada. CPHR Alberta is the exclusive registration body in Alberta for the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) designation, which is the professional standard in Canada. The CPHR demonstrates HR expertise, experience, and ethical management of today’s human capital. CPHR Alberta is a provincial member of CPHR Canada. Together with the membership, CPHR Alberta is working towards becoming a self-regulated, recognized profession in Alberta.

With more than 60 percent of all annual Human Rights complaints across Canada related to mental and physical health impairment issues, prior to the onset of COVID-19, Human Resource professionals are often on the front line addressing disability associated challenges. Many known, and likely some misunderstood, COVID-19 related accommodation issues will make these questions even more relevant for HR professionals. Foundational or issue-specific increased education and knowledge will be of major value to the HR professionals community of practice.

For further details, please see website at:

Two New Courses from PCU-WHS to Successfully Manage Unexpected Workplace Challenges

Events arise—often unexpectedly. Organizations may need to react quickly to unexpected situations or conditions.

These courses will assist those individuals who are involved with health and safety programs, wellness programs, return to work, and other organization-wide programs, including those who work in human resources and in other management capacities. Course description and contact information is provided below.

DMCS 805 – Looking Forward: Moving Change and Innovation in Workplace Health Systems
Two-week Course runs: July 13 – July 26, 2020

Change is inevitable, ongoing and multi-faceted. Organizations require strategies for reacting quickly to problems and opportunities – both external and internal to their workplaces. This course is designed to provide those who are involved with disability management, wellness, and health and safety programs with tools and techniques to identify and respond to disruptive events, new situations and changing conditions in the most positive way possible by:
• Recognizing unanticipated or needed changes;
• Generating ideas, innovations and solutions;
• Using change management processes.

Course activities will span 2 weeks, requires approximately 22 hours to complete, includes print materials and video, a workbook for trying out tools and techniques, discussion forums and a short assignment. The Course has been endorsed for 22 continuing education credit hours for the designations of Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC).

DMCS 810: Workplace Strategies to Accommodate Infectious Diseases
One-week Course runs: July 27-August 2, 2020

An outbreak of an infectious disease can wreak havoc on a workplace and the people who work there. Productivity is impaired and workers can suffer financial consequences – and emotional injury as well. This module is designed to provide strategies for reshaping workplace programs to ensure they adequately account for the monitoring, assessment, prevention and mitigation of outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.
On successfully completing the module, participants will be able to:
– Adapt occupational health and safety plans to:
– identify conditions that could lead to the acquisition and spread of infectious diseases among workers
– assess the level of risk
– control hazards and mitigate the potential for illness
– Assess and adapt wellness programs to ensure they include components designed to:
– provide knowledge and skills to workers
– guard against acquisition and spread of infectious diseases among workers
– promote mental and physical wellness in the face of challenges created by infectious disease
– Assist workers who are returning to work following treatment
– Identify organization-wide needs for proactively dealing with the issues arising from outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, and work with staff in a range of departments to develop effective responses

Course activities will require approximately 12 hours to complete and includes print materials, videos, discussion forums and short assignment. This one-week online course provides 12 continuing education hours toward the CDMP and CRTWC professional designations.

For further information on these two courses, please refer to the website at:

Or, please contact:
Jennifer Murray
Student Services
Tel: 778-421-0821, ext. 209


Remembering a Global Leader in Workplace Health and Safety

With the recent sudden and untimely passing of Ralph McGinn, WorkSafeBC not only lost an extremely knowledgeable and committed Chair of its Board of Directors, but many lost a personal friend, and our country and the world has lost a foremost leader who made improving workplace health and safety a life-long priority, all the while leading his professional efforts through a very collaborative and personal engagement style which led to many lasting friendships.

In addition to all his tangible and lasting OS&H achievements, Ralph also thoroughly understood the value and importance of effective Return to Work and Disability Management programs, the positive impact that effective policies, programs and practices in these areas could have on the economic, social and psychological well-being of injured and disabled workers while at the same time reducing costs to employers and society at large. Ralph’s larger than life impact can perhaps be best explained through comments from a small cross section of the many individuals who made their voices heard.

To view the full Communiqué, please click on the following link:
More Information

CDMP and CRTWC Graduation Ceremony Held in Malaysia

A graduation event was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early March at which 80 participants were honoured who achieved the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and the Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC) professional designations for this year, and including 38 who were re-certified. SOCSO, the social security organization of Malaysia, now has 143 CDMP and CRTWC practitioners.

Additionally, this year three individuals from local hospitals wrote and passed the examinations and four members of Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial (BPJS) Ketenagakerjaan from Indonesia also wrote and passed the examinations.

A launch of the Malay language version of the Book on Disability Management Module also took place at the graduation ceremony. This book, published in collaboration with the Social Wellbeing Research Centre at the Universiti Malaya, will be a source of reference for many, especially employers, hospitals and other public agencies. It is one of SOCSO’s initiatives to spearhead disability management by offering training and examinations to disability management practitioners from the Southeast Asian region in addition to those in Malaysia.

For further details and to view the graduation photos, please click on the following link to view the Communiqué. More Information


Appointment to PCU-WHS Board of Governors

The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is pleased to announce the appointment to its Board of Governors of Rod Cook, Vice President Workplace Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Please see announcement attached.

Rod brings decades of leadership and expertise in key areas such as strategy, human resources management, and health and safety, and he is especially passionate about shining a spotlight on the transformative role healthy workplace culture plays in both business and personal success. “In my experience, a healthy workplace culture is critical to business success,” he said. “A culture of health and safety contributes to improved individual and organizational outcomes. Customers and employees want to be confident in an organization’s health and safety practices. Going forward, this will be a top priority for every organization.”

“With increasing evidence of organizations moving towards an integrated workplace health approach, which seeks to leverage a combined OSH/Disability Management strategy for improved outcomes and the upskilling of HR professionals to be better equipped to handle mental and physical health impairment challenges, Rod’s background is ideally suited in supporting our offers in this regard,” said PCU-WHS President Wolfgang Zimmermann.

Co-Chairs of PCU-WHS, Ken Neumann and Dean Winsor said, “In light of our long-term and valuable relationship with the WSIB, we are very pleased that Rod has agreed to join our governance team as we continue to drive our innovation, thought leadership and best practice agenda in all aspects of the workplace health spectrum…and we very much look forward to Rod’s experience and enthusiasm in support of our collective efforts.”

More information

Paying Tribute to a Mentor and Champion for Disability Management

In fond memory of and tribute to our friend, Hartmut Haines, former Ministerial Director for disability issues for the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs who, starting in 1990 until his retirement in 2007, and informally beyond that, was a personal friend and a tremendous supporter and champion of not only better outcomes for persons with disabilities, but also for the concept of Disability Management and of the establishment of NIDMAR in 1994.

NIDMAR fondly recognized his major contribution to us and our collective vision with the presentation of an “International Contribution Award” which took place during the first International Forum on Disability Management – IFDM 2002 – presented by the Chair of NIDMAR’s International Advisory Council, the Hon. David Vickers, who was then a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

IFDM 2002 became a significant success, in part through the contributions made by many individuals from around the world, but also the collective and very personal leadership by the Hon. Claudette Bradshaw, who was Canada’s Minister of Labour, and her German counterpart, Walter Riester. The great collaboration between the Ministers became a reality through the personal commitment and professional collaboration between Hartmut Haines on the German side and Warren Edmondson, who was then Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour for Claudette Bradshaw.

Hartmut Haines brought vision, leadership and practical support for our efforts in not only establishing NIDMAR, but building it into a highly collaborative employer, union, government and other relevant stakeholder governed and driven Global Center of Excellence in more effective Return to Work / Disability Management policy/program and practice outcomes, manifested itself through his direct support of many of our key initiatives spanning almost 20 years and proudly reflected on by NIDMAR’s founding employer and labour co-chairs, who were joined on stage by Hartmut during the official opening ceremonies of the NIDMAR offices in 1994, presided over by the Hon. Dan Miller, then Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier, and who later became Premier of British Columbia, Canada.

“So sorry to hear of Hartmut’s passing. He was a solid supporter of our initiative, always more than willing to share his views and experiences. He made himself available to contribute and help move our project forward. Great guy, we all owe a debt of gratitude.”
Brian Payne, Founding Labour Co-Chair and former President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

“Sad to hear of Hartmut’s passing. When I think of Hartmut the following phrases come to mind:
1) Towering intellect
2) Soft spoken humour
3) Relentless focus and support for the betterment of life and work for people with disabilities
4) Bigger than life”
Peter Lawrie, Founding Employer Co-Chair and former Director of Industrial Relations for MacMillan Bloedel.

“His invaluable contribution to our collective efforts will always be remembered and much appreciated.”
Wolfgang Zimmermann, Executive Director, NIDMAR

The following URL is a link to NIDMAR’s 2002 Annual Report where the views of Hartmut Haines and his enduring vision are profiled in detail:

Online Summer Series: Leadership in Worker and Workplace Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has added urgency to the need for education and support of Return to Work / Disability Management / HR professionals as they engage in the unprecedented workplace challenges that are emerging.

The Online Summer Series consists of three related, yet stand-alone, modules that focus on key aspects of mental health challenges in the workplace and engage in a holistic approach in promoting resiliency among stakeholders.

Current rapid changes and resultant workplace challenges position RTW / DM / HR professionals as anchors, as they will be required to integrate established skill foundations and may be called upon to adapt to a myriad of unfamiliar challenges. Of concern, is the expected impact on population mental health and the fallout for workers, their families, workplaces, and society indicate significant upheaval to usual daily living.

Professionals, whether working in human resources, disability management, health and safety, or wellness programs support a complex set of stakeholders.

This Online Summer Series provides an opportunity to prepare and re-centre amidst these challenges.

  • DMCS 705 – Mental Health Awareness: Promoting Worker Resilience – June 8-14, 2020
  • DMCS 710 – Building Environments to Sustain a Healthy Workforce – June 22-28, 2020
  • DMCS 715 – Strategies to Retain Workers Experiencing Mental Health Challenges – July 6-12, 2020

More information is available on the website at:

Or, please contact:
Jennifer Murray, Student Services
Tel: 778-421-0821, ext. 209


Now accepting applications for the WorkSafeBC – PCU-WHS Scholarship

When this Scholarship program was first announced in 2019, BC’s Minister of Labour Harry Bains said, “One of my top priorities is to ensure that injured or ill workers get the resources and support they need. This scholarship program supports that priority by helping fill a gap in BC’s workforce, increasing the availability of skilled workers in disability management, and ensuring graduates have a consistently high standard of practice.”

Vice Chair of WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors Lee Loftus said, “These scholarships will ultimately help workers who’ve been injured access highly trained and qualified professionals to support their transition back to employment. Effective return-to-work programs are critical to maintaining an injured worker’s physical, mental, and financial health.”

For further details regarding the Scholarship opportunity, please visit the website at:

Or contact Jennifer Murray in Student Services at:
Tel: 778-421-0821, ext. 209

Belgium Government Demonstrates Disability Management Leadership

Belgium’s Social Security Organization, INAMI/RIZIV, is advancing strategies, programs and practices designed to maintain successful and productive employment for individuals who acquire a mental or physical health impairment and who are at risk of losing their jobs and who often never re-enter the labour market again. The shift has been towards a pro-active job retention strategy versus waiting for re-integration measures attempted once individuals enter the social security system.

In 2014 INAMI/RIZIV signed a 5-year license agreement which provides access to the entire NIDMAR continuing education framework as well as the ability to offer the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC) examinations across Belgium.

Following a formal review of the RTW/DM intervention improvements that individuals trained through the education program and subsequent professional certification were able to achieve in Belgium – the improvements being consistent with the outcomes achieved in other jurisdictions – Belgium has extended the license agreements for education and professional certification license arrangements to 2025.  More Information

Federal Minister and Deputy Minister Veterans Affairs Canada Visit PCU-WHS

The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) was honoured to welcome to its campus the Federal Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, his Deputy Minister, General Walter Natynczyk, and our Member of Parliament Gord Johns who stopped by the University to learn more about its unique and innovative Return to Work and Disability Management programming and delivery format.

Veterans Affairs Canada is currently supporting 25 Veterans going through the 25-module Disability Management Practitioner continuing education program with a waiting list of 25 individuals to participate.

More Information