Scholarships for Public Servants - Eligibility

This page covers the eligibility rules for the Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants program for applicants, employers and programs and post-secondary institutions.

Applicant Eligibility

Rules around probation & performance:

  • You must be a regular employee who has completed an initial probationary period (six months or 913 hours in one position) prior to the intake deadline (regardless of program start dates). If you are unsure if you have completed your initial probation period, speak to your supervisor.  More information is available about the probationary period on MyHR
  • Applicants who have been regular employees for less than six months may be asked to submit a copy of the official “Completion of Probation” letter provided by their supervisor.
  • Employees who complete their initial probation and then change jobs are in a “subsequent” probationary period and eligible to apply, as long as other eligibility criteria are met
  • As the scholarship supports developmental training, your performance evaluation rating must be determined by your supervisor to be either “Achieves Expectations” or “Exceeds Expectations”. It takes time for supervisors to make this assessment so if you are new to a role, it may be too soon for your supervisor to assess your performance and support your application

Rules around auxiliary & casual employees:

  • Auxiliary and casual employees are ineligible for a scholarship because recipients must commit to continuing work in the BC Public Service for a specified period of time in return for receiving the scholarship, which only regular employees can do. Auxiliaries and new employees are encouraged to consider the program after they become regular employees
  • In some cases, time worked as an auxiliary employee may contribute to the completion of the probation period for new regular employees. Contact AskMyHR for more information on probation

Rules around leaves:

  • Employees on a fixed-term leave with a planned return date (such as maternity or education) can apply for and receive a scholarship, start or continue an education program and be reimbursed for money spent on tuition and books. The return of service obligation is not returned while you are on leave and the leave period extends the return of service end date
  • Employees on long-term leave without a planned return to work date cannot receive a scholarship because they cannot commit to the return of service obligation. Once you return to work, you are eligible to apply as long as all other criteria are met

Employer Eligibility

All ministries and any organizations that are enabled under the Public Service Act are eligible for Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants.

You are not eligible if you work in the broader public sector, including

  • Provincial health authorities (such as Island Health)
  • School districts and universities
  • Crown corporations (for example, Community Living BC, BC Hydro)
  • Other municipal or federal governments (for example, police)

These organizations have their own terms and conditions of employment.

If you are not sure if an organization is an eligible employer, please check before you consider changing jobs to a different organization. Taking a position at an ineligible organization if you still owe return of service will require you to make a full repayment, your funding will be discontinued and you would be ineligible for further scholarships. The onus is on the employee, so if you have any questions email Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants.

Post-secondary Institution & Program Eligibility

Acceptable programs of study for Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants are those that align with the needs and priorities of the B.C. government and which support BC Public Service employees to do this work. Some programs that have been accepted for previous scholarships include

  • Finance, accounting and commerce
  • Project management
  • Natural resources
  • Information and technology
  • Human resources and organizational development
  • Public and business administration
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Leadership and coaching
  • Social work, counselling and mediation
  • Biology, ecology and environmental management

If you are taking an internally recognized certificate program such as the Financial Management Certificate program and are required to take external courses as part of the certificate, you can apply for a scholarship as long as the courses are offered at a designated institution.

Pre-requisite coursework, and individual courses that do not lead to a certificate, diploma or degree at a designated institution are not eligible for the scholarship. However, ministries may fund individual developmental courses, job-related courses and mandatory training as determined by the ministry and specified in the position's job description. Developmental training is voluntary and normally completed outside of work hours. Ministries do not operate developmental funding programs parallel to the Pacific Leaders Scholarships program.

Pacific Leaders is an academic scholarship, so only programs that measure and assess your course work success are eligible. This means there must be tools (like exams or papers) that are marked and/or graded. Programs that simply indicate attendance or completion are not eligible for funding.

Fees and courses related to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) are ineligible for funding. Pacific Leaders Scholarships are for new learning resulting in a certificate, diploma or degree at a designated educational institution.

Rules around designated institutions:

  • There are restrictions on which post-secondary institutions you can attend in order to be eligible for funding
  • Pacific Leaders programs as with all functions of the BC Public Service are funded by the citizens of B.C., so in addition to satisfying other eligibility criteria, students must be attending an institution designated for student financial assistance. The federal government has authorized the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training (the Ministry) to designate post-secondary institutions for the purpose of determining student eligibility and the pan-Canadian Designation Policy Framework (the Framework) on student financial assistance guides provinces/territories in developing, implementing and maintaining designation policies
  • Under the Framework, designated institutions are expected to focus on student retention and success and on ensuring students improve their employment options and can repay their student loans
  • Designation is a privilege and not a right. As noted in the Framework, funding under student financial assistance programs is provided to assist students, not institutions. Protecting the interests of students and taxpayers is the paramount consideration for the Ministry in designating institutions
  • Ensure your institution is designated by referring to the StudentAid BC website
  • If a program is offered on-line only, it will not be designated on the StudentAid BC website, but will be accepted if
    • It is offered by a Canadian educational institution and
    • That institution is designated by that province’s Student Aid Designations office
  • The applicant must provide proof of this approval as part of the application package. An example of sufficient  proof is a screen shot and link to the provincial Student Aid Designations office (or its equivalent) clearly indicating that the institution is designated by that province. A sample from the institution’s site is not sufficient proof