Frequently Asked Questions
Courses cover a range of subjects in the area of workplace health, with an emphasis on how to apply skills and knowledge in the workplace and deal with opportunities and challenges at an individual, organizational and regulatory level. Topics as diverse as managing the return to work process, the role of human resources, strategic and operational planning, marketing and education, human rights, assessment, and assistive technology are examined. Health, disability, safety and wellness are viewed against a backdrop that includes legislation, economics, cultural values and family and immediate social circles—a biopsychosocial perspective. The 25-module Disability Management Practitioner Program explores all aspects of returning workers with disabilities to a job or maintaining them at work through accommodations while they are healing. The Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health Certificate examines a range of mental health conditions and topics including stress and anxiety and substance abuse, as well modules that focus on communication with workers and other stakeholders and the organizational response. The special and advanced courses allow participants to take a deep dive into conditions that may result in temporary or permanent disability such as upper body injuries, cancer and chronic and episodic conditions. Other special and advanced modules deal with the organizational aspects of workplace health such as identifying and responding to change.
Enrollees can sign up for single modules that interest them or for a whole program—as long as they have completed any prerequisites. For example, the Disability Management Practitioner Program has 25 modules and the course on the Role of Assessment requires that the Job Analysis module be taken beforehand. If you go to the PCU-WHS website and look at the course descriptions, you can identify any prerequisites before you register.
The estimated time to complete one module is twelve hours. This includes the time spent going over readings, videos and other resources; engaging in two discussion forums; and completing an assignment. Study activities take place over a week, although an extra week is available to complete the assignment. A few modules have a two-week duration period and require twenty to twenty four hours of study activity.
All activities are online and are led by an instructor with expertise in the course topic. Most Continuing Education courses take place over one week and require an estimated twelve hours of study activity. On the Thursday afternoon before the course start date, students will receive access to their course materials. During the week, course participants will review materials including a course manual, readings, videos and other resources that explore the topic. From Monday to Wednesday, students must participate in a first discussion forum, and from Thursday to Saturday, they will contribute to a second discussion forum. These discussions are based on a short scenario or issue. An assignment will be submitted at the end of study activities and students will have an extra week to complete it. All activities are asynchronous and students can work at the time and place that is best for them—within the deadlines for completion.
Courses are recorded as a pass or fail and this is what will appear on the transcript. Course participants can download an evaluation form providing a numerical grade (out of 100) and instructor comments, broken down by course component. In a one-week course, each discussion forum is worth twenty percent of the course for a total of 40 marks and the final assignment is graded out of 60 marks. For some programs, a certificate will be provided on completion of all modules.
Most of the short courses that are offered over a one-week period and involve 12 hours of study activity cost $250. Courses that have a duration of two weeks will have a fee of around $450. Payment of fees is required a week before the course start date.
Students begin the process of becoming a student at PCU-WHS by going to https://mypcu.pcu-whs.ca and entering their contact information. They will then be sent a student number and password. By enrolling in a course, students are attesting to having completed high school or the equivalent, and to being proficient in written English.
Once you have been provided with a student number and password, you can enroll yourself in courses. Enrollment is open until Wednesday at midnight in the week before a course begins. You can reach the enrollment page by clicking on MY PCU-WHS at the top right-hand corner of any PCU-WHS website page or by going directly to the enrollment page https://mypcu.pcu-whs.ca
For most continuing education programs, students can take the courses in any order, with the exception of a few modules that have prerequisites. These courses must be completed before the student is able to access a course with pre-requisites.
You can pay for the course at the time you enroll or up to a week before the course start date. When an individual signs up for a course, an invoice or receipt will be emailed to them.
In some cases, an organization may pay directly for an employee. When this is the case, participants should have the employer contact the PCU-WHS accounting department and arrangements will be made to have the invoices sent directly to them.
If you have not paid for the course by Wednesday at midnight in the week before, you will not be moved to the course site.
Certificates can be provided to individuals who have completed all the courses in a certificate program. Please go to https://forms.gle/zKwmCorAz7L1SMvP9 and fill out the Certificate Application Form. You should receive the certificate within a month.
Certificates are not provided after completion of single courses. If you need evidence of completion, you can download a transcript from the enrollment site. You can also ask for a formal transcript of your record at PCU-WHS and that has a charge of $15.
Up to a week before the course start date, you can transfer to another session of the course or another course with the same fee or apply for a refund. On the Monday, a week before the course start date, you are considered to be in the course and you will lose your course fee, although you can sign up later at your own cost.
However, you are allowed one life-emergency transfer per term, meaning that if you are prevented from participating in a course due to an unpredictable event or situation, PCU-WHS will transfer you to the next module. You need to contact email@example.com before the final assignment submission date and it would be thoughtful to contact the instructor as well. If you have already used your life emergency transfer, you may be able to go through a more formal accommodation process, to obtain a transfer at no cost. This means that you will fill out a request for an accommodation that involves the provision of some documentation.
You can receive a refund if you cancel your course up to a week before the course start date. However, there will be a $50 administration fee per course, up to a maximum of $750 if a student is withdrawing from several courses at one time. Students who become ill or who experience a significant family or life emergency (the death of an immediate family member, hospitalization of a child or elderly parent, job loss, etc.), may be able to withdraw from a course or program without a deduction after filling out an accommodation request.
PCU-WHS does not have a career center so it is recommended that you search online for websites with information on how to carry out a job search. A job search is obviously going to be impacted by the number of jobs available in your region and the requirements of the jobs that are being offered. If you are new to the field, as you are completing your modules, begin to watch the job boards so that when you are ready, you will have already gained some insights into who is hiring and what is available in terms of jobs.
It may make sense to send an application in, even if you do not have all of the qualifications being asked for.
It might also make sense to send your resume in to potential employers even when they don’t have advertisements for job openings. There are several types of organizations that hire disability management practitioners:
- Insurers who provide DM/RTW services as part of getting people back to work and cutting down on their time on disability—e.g., workers’ compensation organizations, private disability insurance providers, auto insurers
- Third party providers who contract with other organizations and companies and carry out a range of functions including claims management and return to work. You should be able to find some names through an online search with terms such as “third party providers and disability management” or “rehabilitation providers and return to work.”
- Organizations with their own disability management departments—these are usually larger organizations.
If you are taking the 25-module Disability Management Practitioner Program Certificate you can request exemptions from up to six modules based on equivalent courses taken at other institutions within the previous five years. You may also receive exemptions for certain modules if you are currently in certain roles. For example, if you are a licensed nurse or other health practitioner you could be exempted from Module C on Physical Impairments, Rehabilitation Services and Return to Work. You should check the Guide to Continuing Education Courses/Programs (page seven) at PCU-WHS PCU-WHS Continuing Education Guide 2023-2024 and the Exemption Form for specifics. The cost for processing an exemption is $20.
If you are completing the 8-module Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health in the Workplace Certificate you can ask for exemptions for up to two modules based on having completed a similar course at other institutions within the previous five years. You may also use equivalent PCU-WHS courses for which you have received a passing grade within the last five years.
Informal education (e.g., conferences and non-credit workshops) in conjunction with work experience and a short assignment could form the basis of Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) credits. Please review the PCU-WHS Continuing Education Guide 2023-2024 (pages seven and eight). The cost for completing a PLAR is $100.