Leave for learning and professional development for B.C. government employees

Last updated on April 3, 2024

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

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You can get a leave to gain new skills or for specific training for your position, such as:

  • 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. 

For training that is mandatory for your current job, the time is regarded as on-duty time. There is no need to enter it in Time and Leave.

If you are unsure whether you need to enter a leave in Time and Leave, talk with your supervisor.

Leave for taking courses

When your employer requires you to take a course, you will receive leave with pay for the time necessary to attend the training.

Leave for writing exams

You can take leave with pay to write exams for courses approved by your appropriate authority. 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 and 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 four months with as much lead time as possible

How to submit your request

Have your supervisor send a Leave Management Transaction form (PDF, 121KB) to Payroll for payment by submitting an AskMyHRIDIR restricted service request using the categories Myself (or) My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Submit a Leave Form.

Your supervisor needs to identify the percentage of pay you are to receive during the leave, or identify if the leave is without pay. The leave can't be entered into Time and Leave. 

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

If you take leave without pay, you may purchase benefits 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 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:

  • Olympic Games
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Pan American Games
  • Canadian Games
  • Paralympic Games
  • 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 their deputy minister’s approval.

You can be granted leave without pay for up to 90 days. If elected, leave without pay is available for a maximum of five years.

Complete a Leave Management Transaction form (PDF, 121KB) and send it, and approval from your deputy minister to AskMyHR (IDIR restricted).

Submit a service request using the categories Myself (or) My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Submit a Leave Form.

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.

Note: Employees who are reservist and deployed are eligible for Reservists' Leave without pay under the Employment Standards Act.


Over 30 days

Submit a written request to your supervisor. The supervisor and employee must sign a General Leave Without Pay approval and acknowledgement letter and send to AskMyHR for processing


Under 30 days

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