Tips for Advocating for Professional Development Leave and/or Registration Subsidy

In today’s world of cutbacks and constraints, support to professionals’ development is often a target for restraint when budgets are tight. At the same time, employers and contractors are demanding evidence based care and continuously evolving best practice!

Your ongoing professional development is important for you, your employer and your clients! Here are a few tips for messaging to advocate for support to your personal commitment to continuous learning.
  • continuing education enhances clinicians’ knowledge base, which ensures good quality care for the organization’s clients 
  • assuring quality care is a risk-management strategy and contributes to consumer satisfaction 
  • an organization that promotes continuous learning sends a message to its community that it values quality care 
  • continuing education increases clinicians’ creativity and use of beneficial options/alternatives and diversity of skills and knowledge 
  • the opportunity to learn and grow professionally increases job satisfaction 
  • attendance at educational events with opportunities to network is renewing and energizing – clinicians come back to work enthused! 
  • support to professional development activities is a valued staff retention strategy (turnover and vacancies are costly and detrimental to the organization’s image) 
  • paid leave to support a professional development activity is not an add-on cost in salaried positions; it is likely re-couped through renewed motivation/productivity 
  • paid leave can be “cost-shared” with the professional – perhaps making up some of the time (or by demonstrating a record of voluntary “overtime” as part of your
    existing work ethic) 
  • networking at professional development activities increases the organization’s profile and can enhance future recruitment efforts 
  • sharing of a clinician’s expertise or knowledge as a presenter/speaker/panellist at a professional development event reflects upon their work organization as well - enhancing the organization’s reputation and profile 
  • registration costs for events in our field are generally modest, compared to other sectors 
  • by attending an event, you can “share the knowledge” - present the information to your colleagues afterwards

While registered occupational therapists are eligible to apply for funding to reimburse expenses of professional development events and courses through the Allied Health Professional Development Fund, business entities and employers are not eligible to make such applications. 

Tips on How to Pursue Professional Development.