Staff Professional Development Program

E2 Building

About the Program

The Civil & Environmental Engineering Staff Professional Development Program has been created to provide staff in our department financial support to participate in professional development activities to help support their career development.

How it works:

Staff members are entitled to use up to five of their normal working days, annually, for career and professional development/training, as specified in Policy 18 - Staff Employment. Staff members in the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering who wish to apply for financial support to participate in a professional development activity that will contribute to their skill development, personal growth, or career advancement can submit an application, which will be reviewed by the CEE Manager Advisory Committee. All selected applications will need final approval from the Department Chair.



The program is open to all regular full-time staff and regular part-time staff within the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering who have completed their probationary period (see Policy 54, Definition of Staff).
The Review Committee may decide not to provide funding to an applicant that has:

  • Requested funding that exceeds the recommended Participant Funding Allocation for an activity,
  • Does not meet the criteria for skill development, personal growth, or career advancement, or
  • Used the allowable maximum funding allotment.

Career Development Activity Criteria:
All professional and career development conferences, seminars, courses, or workshops that are on- or off-campus, in-person or online, and single- or multi-day activities will be considered where they are shown to support the ongoing skill development or career advancement of the staff member. 

The program will not provide funding for applications that are:

  • For more than one professional development activity,
  • For an ongoing fee, annual membership, or subscription, or
  • For a training activity that is a job requirement or is mandated by government legislation or university policy


Application Process:
The CEE Manager Advisory Committee will make decisions on all applications at a regularly booked monthly meeting. 
Decisions on all applications will be communicated to staff members by Managers following the scheduled monthly meetings. 

Criteria for Assessment:
Decisions will be made on the merits of the request, the eligibility of the applicant, the amount of funding being requested, and the expected impact of the activity on the applicant. Decisions will ensure equitable access to, and benefits from, the Professional Development Program for all eligible staff members in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. This means that over time staff who have not benefitted from this program previously will be given a higher priority as the annual budget for the program is reached.


Applications should be approved by the CEE Manager Advisory Committee before the career development activity takes place. Expenses will not be reimbursed for career development opportunities that have taken place before final approvals.
It is the expectation of all applicants that they should present at a future CEE Staff meeting on how their participation in the professional development activity has supported their skill development or career advancement. 

Professional development is a shared responsibility between the individual Staff member, the Manager, and the head of the Organizational Unit. Managers and unit heads are expected to adjust an employee’s workload or schedule to allow them to participate in skill development or career advancement opportunities as per Policy 18 - staff Employment.


The funding for a successful application may be provided in one of three ways, including:

  1. Expense reimbursement via Concur,
  2. Departmental invoice, or
  3. Direct payment (this option is not available where registration is required at the time of payment)

Participant Funding Allocation:
The CEE Manager Advisory Committee will use its best judgment to determine an appropriate funding allocation for each professional development program request. The decided funding allocation is most commonly impacted by the mode of delivery and the location of the activity.

Staff are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding from other University initiatives (e.g., Staff Excellence Fund (SEF), Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada Grant) to support their request. Any additional funding received will be taken into consideration when funding allocation is decided by the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Notes: All requests are subject to the availability of funds, and all expenses must abide by Policy 31 – University Expenses.

Funding has been committed by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering to support the development and implementation of the staff professional development program. The allocation for the department for the 2024 year is $10,000. 


On-campus opportunities:
The University of Waterloo provides many opportunities and resources for staff to continue their education and career training. Explore the information below to find out more about the programming that is currently available to you.
Organizational & Human Development (OHD):
Organizational and Human Development (OHD) offers a wide range of courses for the University community. We offer personal and professional development for employees on a variety of topics ranging from leadership and emotional intelligence to exploring values and collaboration. Please visit the calendar of workshops menu for a list of the offerings. 

OHD is committed to employee learning, excellence, and development. The workshops and services support employees to explore their potential and enhance their long-term performance at the University of Waterloo.

Skills for the Electronic Workplace (SEW) Courses:
The courses in the IT Professional Development (ITPD) program teach recommended technical & computing skills to University employees. Training is delivered through online and in-person instructor-led workshops. Self-lead training opportunities can be found on learn and through other free, online training platforms. See the ITPD course brochure or other IT training opportunities for more details.

WatSPEED Courses (Certificate Programs and Courses):
WatSPEED provides professional education designed to support the workforce of the future. Programs enable industry professionals to keep pace with emerging technologies and understand their impact on businesses, economies, the environment, and societies. Waterloo is at the forefront of a new approach to lifelong learning, helping the leaders of today and tomorrow navigate an ever-changing environment.

Linkedin Learning:
An on-demand learning solution designed to help you gain new skills and advance your career. LinkedIn Learning is available for free to UWaterloo employees. Faculty and staff can access web-based training from LinkedIn-Learning using their WatIAM credentials. Available course topics include Remote Working, Managing Virtual Teams, Developing Resourcefulness, and much more.
More information on LinkedIn Learning can be found on the website for Organizational & Human Development.
Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada Grant: 

The SEE Canada Grant provides an opportunity for University staff members to further their professional development through idea exchange and learning alongside counterparts at other Canadian universities, colleges, research institutions, or industry-partner organizations. Up to five proposals for a maximum of $5000 each are funded every year.
More information about the SEE Canada Grant can be found on the website for Human Resources under programs and initiatives.
Staff International Experience Fund (SIEF) program: 
The SIEF program allows selected staff members to participate in an international experience that serves to advance the University’s strategic objectives. The primary intention of the SIEF program is to provide staff members with international experiences that allow them to advance the goals of the University of Waterloo.
More information about SIEF program can be found on the website for Waterloo International under information for staff.
Staff Excellence Fund (SEF):

The SEF is available to financially support projects and programming that will contribute to staff engagement, improve workplace wellness or develop staff leadership abilities. The SEF provides $250,000 annually to fund High-Quality Speakers ($65,000/year), Service Recognition ($50,000/year), Engagement and Leadership Development ($50,000/year), and Health Workplace Initiatives ($85,000/year). 
More information about SEF can be found on the website for the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA).
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 
The EFAP by Homewood Health provides services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, including self-directed, confidential and, interactive online courses on a wide range of topics (e.g., career development, transition, work-life balance) designed to help you take charge of your health and wellbeing. 
Access Homeweb anytime for e-Learning, interactive tools, health and wellness assessments, and a library of health, life balance, and workplace articles.