Leave for Learning & Professional Development for B.C. Government employees

The B.C. Public Service supports lifelong learning with options for time off for training, education and career development.

Leaves are available for you to attend a job interview, write an exam, take an education leave of up to a year, take a course, participate in athletic events, serve in political office, take part in an exchange program or a Canadian Armed Forces leave.

Whether you want to gain new skills or your position requires you to take specific training, different kinds of leave are available for you to attend

  • Workshops and classroom training
  • On-the-job learning activities (for example, job-shadowing, temporary work assignments, debriefing sessions, job exchanges)
  • Coaching and/or mentoring
  • Project or committee work
  • Online courses, seminars, webinars
  • Communities of practice or learning networks
  • Discussion forums like breakfast or lunch seminars
  • Conferences, trade shows, professional association learning events

To take professional training, for skills that are required within the public service, request a leave with pay, partial pay or without pay. This training may include attending conferences or seminars directly related to your position. For training that is mandatory for your current job, the time is regarded not as leave but as on-duty time, and there is no need to enter it in Time and Leave.

 If you are unsure whether or not you need to enter a leave in Time and Leave, talk with your supervisor.

Leave for Taking Courses

When an employee is required by the employer to take a course, they will receive leave with pay for the time necessary to attend the training.

Leave for Writing Exams

Employees are able to take leave with pay to write exams for courses approved by their appropriate authority. Be sure to notify your supervisor of the time and place the exam will be conducted.

Education Leave

Take up to one year of education leave with or without pay upon approval from your supervisor. Education leave is granted based on collective agreement provisions for bargaining unit employees and the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees.

To take education leave, you must

  • Have worked a minimum of two years in the BC Public Service
  • Submit a written request to your supervisor at least two months in advance for education leave longer than four months
  • Submit a request for education leave of less than two months with as much lead time as possible

If education leave is approved, the employee must agree to remain employed by the BC Public Service for a determined amount of time after completing their education. This calculation is based on the length of their leave.

If the leave is taken without pay, benefits may be purchased for up to 24 months.

Learn about funding for education through the Pacific Leaders program.

Job Interview

You can take time from work with pay if you’ve been selected to interview for another BC Public Service position. Notify your supervisor of the interview as soon as possible.  Enter time off in Time and Leave using the pay code Interview.

Exchange Programs

BCGEU and excluded employees can participate in exchanges between the BC Public Service and other government or public agencies with a leave with pay for up to 24 months. Talk to your supervisor if you are interested in an exchange opportunity between your ministry and another organization. You must have your supervisor's approval.

Leave for Athletic Events

Regular employees may be eligible to take eight days of leave with pay under this type of leave if

  • They have been selected to represent B.C. or Canada in designated international or national multi-sport athletic events as an athlete, coach or judging official 
  • They provide an official letter of documentation from the sponsoring athletic event indicating the employee’s participation
  • Their job duties and requirements allow for the leave

Designated athletic events are

  • The Olympic Games
  • The Commonwealth Games
  • The Pan American Games
  • The Canadian Games
  • The Paralympic Games
  • The North American Indigenous Games

Submit an official letter from the sponsoring athletic event indicating your participation to your supervisor or manager.

Enter time off in Time and Leave using the pay code ATH & CULT (Athletic and Cultural Leave).

Political Office Leave

Employees seeking election in a municipal, aboriginal community government, provincial or federal election must submit a written request and obtain approval from their deputy minister to be granted leave without pay for up to 90 days. If elected, leave without pay can be granted for a maximum period of five years.

Obtain approval by submitting a written request to your deputy minister. Complete a Leave Management Transaction and submit through AskMyHR.

Canadian Armed Forces Leave

Employees participating in activities associated with the Canadian Armed Forces may be granted time off work. Provisions for each employee group are defined in the collective agreements.

Obtain approval from your supervisor or manager.

Enter time off in Time and Leave using the pay code CDFR LWOP if you’ve been approved to take leave without pay or CDFR LWP if you’ve been approved to take leave with pay.