On the Radar Volume 6 Number 2

 

spring flower

Photo by Jackie Chambers, UBC Botanical Garden horticulturist

“On the Radar" is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC. It is published periodically via email and on our website, under the guidance of the AAPS Communications Committee.


In This Issue

(The hyperlinks below will aid you in jumping to the articles you would most like to read.)


 


AAPS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Collective Bargaining Update

by Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

The Collective Bargaining Committee has begun meeting in earnest to develop a mandate for the upcoming round of negotiations. The current collective agreement expires on June 30, 2010. The committee will be developing the mandate based on feedback received from the membership during the consultations held last fall. The committee is looking at bargaining proposals in several broad areas of concern identified by the membership including job security, benefits, and professional development.

Unfortunately, it will be difficult to secure any increases in compensation during this round of bargaining. The bargaining mandate for public sector employers in British Columbia is set by the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC).  PSEC guidelines are binding and anything negotiated outside of their mandate is not funded by the provincial government. The parameter PSEC has set for this round of bargaining is zero annual general wage increases for the next two years.  The PSEC mandate covers total compensation, including benefits. Therefore, any changes to the overall compensation package would have to be cost neutral. That said, there are a variety of areas in the agreement that are cost neutral that the committee believes can be enhanced to improve the productivity and retention of AAPS members. The bargaining committee will keep the membership informed of significant developments at appropriate times as bargaining progresses.  The final agreement will be brought to the membership for a ratification vote.

The AAPS bargaining team for this round of bargaining is:

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Traveling? Take Your Benefits with you on Vacation

by UBC Human Resources

Traveling this summer? Be sure to check out your UBC benefits coverage before you leave, as you may be covered for certain travel-related medical situations under the UBC benefits package.

If you are traveling outside BC or Canada, for work or for personal reasons, you should review your travel benefits coverage before you begin your trip. We have a brand-new Travel Benefits section up on our website athttp://hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel/, which has information on which services are covered while you are outside BC, as well as important contact information to use if you are involved in a medical emergency while traveling.

Visit http://hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel/ for full information.

Also see Sharon Cory’s article (below): Don’t Lose It, Use It: Understanding Vacation scroll_down

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Leave for Change Sends Six AAPS Members to Volunteer Overseas

by UBC Human Resources

six AAPS members to Volunteer Overseas

(Left to right) Jamie Frezell, Erin Cusack, Carol Zachs, Jessica Harris, Nancy Vered, Michelle Lowton.

In 2010, UBC sent six volunteers overseas to developing countries as part of the University's Leave for Change program (http://www.hr.ubc.ca/leaveforchange/).

The 2010 volunteers, all members of AAPS, are:

Jamie Frezell volunteered as a Funding Advisor in Nepal. She is the Assistant Communications Coordinator for Communications Services, Enrolment Services, at the Okanagan campus.

Erin Cusack volunteered as a Career and Social Counselling Advisor in Ghana. She is the Advisor for Student Financial Assistance and Awards.

Carol Zachs volunteered as a Documentation Advisor in Ghana. She is the Manager, Study and Research Abroad, for Go Global.

Jessica Harris volunteered as a Gender Advisor in Ghana. She is the International Advisor-Recruiter for Arts Academic Advising.

Nancy Vered volunteered as an HR/Financial Curriculum Advisor in Vietnam. She is the Administrative Director for the Department of Chemistry.

Michelle Lowton volunteered as an HR Advisor in Botswana. She is the Senior Academic Advisor for Student Development and Advising at UBC Okanagan.

All of our Leave for Change participants have blogged about their adventures. You can read their stories at http://www.focusonpeople.ubc.ca/leaveforchange/.

Applications for the 2011 Leave for Change program will open in the fall of 2010.

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Reminder: T4 and T4A Statements Available in Self-Service

by UBC Human Resources

The 2009 T4 and T4A statements for UBC employees are available to download in the Faculty and Staff Self-Service Portal. To access your T4 or T4A statement, login to http://www.msp.ubc.ca/ using your Campus-Wide Login (CWL). Select the "My Pay" section to view "Year-End Statements."

Please note that if you are off-campus, you will need to use VPN to access Self-Service. UBC IT provides information on setting up your VPN athttp://www.it.ubc.ca/security/VPN.html

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Advocacy Issues Report

The Advocacy Committee and the AAPS Member Services Officers are available to support and assist the Membership in advocacy issues. If you have concerns and/or questions contact us at the AAPS office and you will be assigned a representative to assist you with your situation. All information is treated confidentially. Questions that are brought forward raise AAPS' awareness of what is happening on the University's campuses, and ensures that the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied. The following report identifies the Category of Issues as well as the number of specific issues within each category.

Advocacy Issues
March
(Reporting Period July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010)

Category of Issue Category DescriptionYTD
# Issues Handled
YTD
# of Issues Resolved
YTD 
# of Issues Remaining
Hours of WorkTime of day / day of week743
Workload OvertimeOver work/overtime pay1 1
DisciplineWarning/Suspension541
Terminations CauseCulpable firings22 
Terminations Without CauseLayoff/ Reorg/Lack of $/Unsuitability63558
Terminations ProbationSuitability/Fit   
Resignation/ RetirementQuit of own accord321
Term Appointment EndsDate Moved/ Notice/$642
Classification & ReclassFamily/Grade541
PayAppropriateness23194
Bargaining UnitAAPS/CUPE/ FACUlTY   
ExclusionsWho is in/out   
Discrimination - 13 GroundsHuman Rights Code   
Harassment - PersonalBullying422
Work Environment - PhysicalSafety1 1
Work Environment - CultureToxic Environment844
ReorganizationDept or UBC changes312
Long Term DisabilityExtend sick leave   
Sick LeavePay, duration, qualifying for1183
Leaves of AbsenceVacation & other leaves1174
Return-to-WorkAccommodation11 
PensionsAmount, entitlement, etc.1 1
BenefitsCoverage633
Evaluation Post -Prob'nPerformance211
Evaluation ProbationPerformance1174
AppointmentsSearch/Selection/ Offer Letters871
ServiceTotal Length of   
AttendanceAbsenteeism & Attendance Mgmt   
Professional DevelopmentTuition Waivers/PD Fund/Study Leave954
Interpretations GeneralAnything not listed above33258
TOTAL 22416559

 

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AAPS Communications Committee Volunteer Request

The AAPS Communications Committee is currently looking to add one or two new volunteers. The role of the committee is to ensure good communications between the Executive Board and AAPS members, with particular tasks including assistance with the On the Radar newsletter, preparation and production of the AAPS Annual Report and providing strategic input into AAPS communications activities. If you have a background or a particular interest in communications please contact aaps@interchange.ubc.ca for further information or to volunteer your assistance.

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AAPS Professional Development Events

Bookmark the AAPS PD Blog to keep up to date on Professional Development Events organized by AAPS. If you have an idea for a Professional Development Event, please contact Jasmin Deol at jasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

Upcoming Events Okanagan Campus

sasja nieukerk

Sasja Nieukerk, BA, MA 
Consultant, Executive Coach, Facilitator and Trainer


Teach ‘em How to Fish: Practical Coaching Tools for Managers

Free Seminar, Please RSVP, Catered Event

May 11, 2010 (Okanagan Campus)
Registration Deadline: April 28, 2010

Please register before this date to ensure event is not canceled.

 


Program Summary:

Coaching is a defined style of interaction that improves performance and innovation. Equipped with outdated or inappropriate approaches to coaching, many managers miss huge opportunities to develop their direct reports' talent and potential. Effective leaders treat every encounter as a potential coaching moment.

Our distinctive Workplace Coaching Model addresses the key challenge you face as a manager: you must meet the developmental needs of your direct reports while juggling your own ambitious goals, busy schedules and daily responsibilities. Our model gives you a framework to help your direct reports learn and get things done themselves, rather than give them orders.

In this highly interactive workshop, you will top up your coaching tool kit and experience coaching firsthand, as both coach and coachee.

You Will Learn to:

  • A practical definition and demonstration of what workplace coaching is and what it is not
  • How to identify when you should and when you shouldn't coach
  • A business case for integrating workplace coaching into your daily routine
  • Five best practices for a successful coaching conversation
  • Common traps and how to avoid them

Presenter Bio:

Sasja is a sought after speaker, facilitator, and trainer and has travelled throughout Western Canada giving keynotes and workshops. She is well known for her work in communication and conflict resolution, having developed and delivered workshops that have proven to be extremely popular and highly effective in breaking down barriers to successful working relationships. Sasja is well versed in working with both unionized and non-unionized environments and has achieved great success in providing win-win situations for all parties.

 Sasja holds a Master of Arts (MA) with a specialization in Leadership Development and Training from Royal Roads University in Victoria. She is currently completing her certification as a Professional Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute, recognized worldwide as an industry leader in coach training and certification. In addition, she is also a member of the International Coaching Federation, which is renowned for its globally recognized credentialing program. Sasja is a qualified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and certified facilitator for Achieve Global, a leader in the field of training and development for organizations, teams and leaders.

Who Should Attend?

This workshop is open to all AAPS members

Program Information:

May 11, 2010
10:30 am-2:30 pm
Okanagan Room
Participants will be provided lunch and refreshments.

To Register:

Simply send an email to aaps.pd@ubc.ca.

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Upcoming Events Point Grey Campus

sasja nieukerk

Sasja Nieukerk, BA, MA 
Consultant, Executive Coach, Facilitator and Trainer

 

 

Teach ‘em How to Fish: Practical Coaching Tools for Managers

Free Seminar, Please RSVP

April 29, 2010 (Point Grey Campus)

 

 

 

 

Program Summary:

See summary abovearrow up    

Program Information:

April 29, 2010
11:00 am-2:00 pm
Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard (view location map)
Party room (2nd floor)

To Register:

Simply send an email to aaps.pd@ubc.ca.

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Your Prescription for Life: Seven Steps to Extraordinary Health and Happiness

susan


Presented by Dr. Susan Biali

May 26, 2010 (Point Grey Campus)

Would you like your life to feel more vibrant and satisfying, on all levels? Would you like to know exactly what to do to get your life, your health and yourself back?

In this program, Dr. Biali open link in new window (or tab) will shine a light into the dark corners of your life plan. You’ll discover the Seven Life Secrets that are critical to total wellness and true life success, while being entertained by Dr. Biali’s straight talking style – and her incorporation of Flamenco dancing into her content. She will share insights and techniques on a variety of practical themes, from food to self-esteem to spirituality.

In this program, participants learn to:

  • Reclaim your most authentic self, and begin to honour who you really are
  • Stop putting yourself last, and start making self-love and self-care an absolute priority in your life
  • Honour your body and dramatically improve your health, by listening to and understanding your “body language”
  • Choose foods that slow down aging and powerfully protect and improve your health
  • Improve the quality of your most important and challenging relationships
  • Balance your life and find time for the things that count most
  • Make room for the divine in all aspects of your life, and gain a fresh, positive perspective on life’s mysteries
  • Turn this knowledge into action, now! Audiences learn simple techniques to help them create health and happiness in the midst of their busy lives. They will leave enlightened, energized and motivated, knowing exactly what they need to do next to improve their life and their future.

Registration is not yet open for this event. More information on this event will be emailed directly to AAPS members.

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Proposed Roundtable on Managing Complex Research Projects

Research project managers and coordinators play a vital role in the research community at UBC. Often wearing multiple “professional hats” ranging from financial planner to data analyst, research project managers have the potential to learn a lot from one another. We are seeking project managers and coordinators interested in sharing experiences and strategies for managing complex research projects in an upcoming roundtable discussion.

Please email Petra Ormsby at petra.ormsby@ubc.ca by May 31st if you are interested in this type of forum.

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Understanding Your Agreement

Don’t Lose It, Use It - Understanding Vacation

by Sharon Cory, AAPS Member Services Officer


As you are aware your vacation accrual is based on your length of service.

EmploymentAccumulation
New hire1 2/3 days for each full month of worked 
(Date of hire to end of Dec-first year)
2 through 54 weeks (20 working days)
6 through 85 weeks (25 working days)
9 or more6 weeks (30 working days)

AAPS has been assisting individuals in a variety of circumstances where the individual has either not been taking vacation, or not carrying the vacation forward and then not being paid out for the allowable vacation time due to no pre-identification of what happens to the accrued time.  These circumstances identified that M&P Staff need to understand the vacation allocation process as well as what happens when you do not take your vacation.  When you put your request in for vacation time, hopefully there will be no conflicting requests with other staff or workload limitations which prevent you having your requested time approved.  The department you work in may or may not have guidelines as to how many staff can be off and hopefully personal discussions will rectify any issues that might arise.  Should you find yourself in a situation where the department just says you can’t go at your requested time you need to clarify what your needs and time allocation is, as well as seek clarification as to when the department identifies you can be off.  In most circumstances the discussions will be successful in accommodating all parties’ needs. In some situations, this will not happen and you may be forced to continually move your vacation request around to a time you do not want or need.

This is the time to call AAPS.

The request to accommodate departmental needs in reasonable situations is understandable but the accommodation process works both ways.  If the department does not grant your vacation and you foresee the year end coming before you can take the vacation, ensure that you have approval to carry forward the full allocation of vacation, not just the carry forward consideration of two weeks (which is commonly requested by employees to allow for a longer vacation in the next year). As each situation can be very different, it is important to know your vacation amount and be aware of when the time limits apply to take the vacation.

Should you have questions please contact the AAPS office for further clarification or to assist with your specific situation.

 

Each edition of 'On the Radar' will include a summary of a term or condition of employment from the AAPS Agreement

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Tips and Best Practices:

IT Controls: Whose Responsibility Are They?

by Jennifer Radford, Senior IT Audit Manager

Just what is an IT control, and why as a UBC employee should I be interested?  Well, if we think about our day to day lives, and understand the concept of a ‘control’ in this context, it may help. For example, each morning I park my car at the University and I have to cross a busy road to get to my office. Each time I cross this road there is a risk of getting hit by a car.  Therefore, I take certain actions which will reduce the likelihood of this occurring, such as pressing the pedestrian button and looking both ways before I cross. The objective of my actions (i.e. to get across the road safely) is similar to the objective of a control, i.e. an activity undertaken to provide reasonable assurance that objectives will be achieved and undesired events (like being hit by a car!) will be prevented or detected and corrected.

To extend this concept to IT controls that are in place at the University, we can consider the following definition:  IT controls can be defined as the policies, procedures, practices and organizational structures, related to the University’s use of information and related technology, designed to provide reasonable assurance that the University’s objectives will be achieved and undesired events will be prevented or detected and corrected. Further, specific objectives of IT controls are to ensure the reliability, availability, and security, of the University’s computer systems and data. 

However, there is often a misconception in organizations that the responsibility of all IT controls belongs to the IT department. This is not the case.  It is likely that the majority of the University’s employees use computer systems or services in some way, and therefore will have some responsibility for ensuring that IT controls are working effectively.  Here are a few examples of IT controls that you may be familiar with:

  • User ID’s and Passwords – these help ensure that only authorized users can view the University’s data. They are particularly important if you work with sensitive and/or confidential data such as HR data as the University could be exposed to penalties, fines, and adverse media attention if a breach occurs.
  • Backing up Data – the process of backing up your work will possibly save your sanity if you have spent all day working on a presentation or report, and then your computer crashes and you lose all your data!  Although the IT department may put tools in place to back up work saved on our shared network drives, this does not cover any files that we keep on our local drives.  Also, back up jobs are usually scheduled at the end of the day, so it good practice to manually save your work throughout the day as you are working on your documents.   

Based on the two examples above, it is easy to see that we as end users play an integral part in the operation of IT controls.  Therefore, every one of us can help ensure that the University meets its objectives by increasing our understanding of IT controls and taking steps to make sure they are operating effectively. 

If you are interested in finding out more information on IT controls and how you can help improve the effectiveness of these in your department, please feel free to contact me at jradford@intaudit.ubc.ca.

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Getting to Know Your Committee Members

Each edition of On the Radar will include a Q & A session with an active committee member. This month, AAPS Advocacy Committee Member, Merry Meredith is featured.

merry meridith

 

What is your position at UBC?

I am the Communications Coordinator at UBC Library. I help Library staff promote their outreach activities by designing and editing posters and banners, design logos and templates for communication, and facilitate communication through website design and graphics.

What do you love most about working at UBC?

I love the opportunities and support I’ve had to continue my education: I’ve finished a degree and two certificates while at UBC, besides having taken numerous other courses of interest¬ – and I love having made so many good friends among the people I’ve worked with. Having a green, beautiful campus with great running trails nearby has been a bonus, too.

What is your volunteer position at AAPS? Explain your duties.

I’m a member of the Advocacy Committee. Committee members help with queries from AAPS members who need help resolving issues in their workplace. We do telephone, email or person-to-person consultations to get a handle on issues, and then give advice: mostly as it relates to the AAPS contract, but sometimes to help gain understanding of what we in AAPS can expect and what we can’t. When you are a new AAPS employee, or have little contact with peers, it can help to have an advocate. Committee members share wisdom from years of interactions on campus, and there is a really helpful depth of knowledge there. We meet regularly to review complex cases, and refer for legal counsel or discussions with UBC Human Resources some situations that impact individuals and our contract.

What made you decide to volunteer for AAPS?

I’ve been at UBC a long time, and have seen my share of difficult situations. Feeling that you are without support can be very isolating. My reaction to most problems is to want to resolve them! Volunteering for AAPS has taught me that you can’t resolve everything, but it has given me the opportunity to learn more about employment law, to meet and work with lots of great people, and my reward is that warm and fuzzy feeling I get when someone thanks me for advice.

What was the biggest accomplishment in your AAPS position?

I think any time I have been a useful support to an AAPS member in their UBC career, that’s been my biggest accomplishment. UBC is a large employer, and individuals working in their roles as managers and employees don’t always get things right - it helps to have AAPS there to keep situations on track when necessary.

What is your favourite restaurant on UBC campus and why?

My favourite restaurant is the Pendulum, downstairs in the Student Union Building. The food’s great; the staff know your name and they play good tunes, and in the summer you can sit outside under a sun umbrella and pretend you are in Mexico.

If you could give a piece of advice to a new M&P Staff about their career, what would it be?

I’d say, network: find out who the individuals are who hold similar roles across campus, and the Lower Mainland, and take up on opportunities to learn from them. And take advantage of the UBC tuition waivers that you get as a UBC employee: I’ve learned languages, drawn pictures, done software training, and finished educational requirements, and still find more that interests me!

In your opinion, what are key characteristics that you feel make a good manager?

A good manager is someone who leads without being autocratic, listens without being placid, and encourages ideas and gives credit for them. He/she is someone whose integrity makes them accountable for their decisions and actions, and whose enthusiasm motivates individuals to challenge themselves.

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The Coaching Advantage

What Pushes Your Hot Buttons?

by Nancy Hogan, CEC BBA

People often work with a coach when they are struggling with a “challenging” employee, boss or someone in their unit who they feel is difficult to work with. They can have very strong feelings that this difficult person makes it their mission to take advantage of a person or situation, or aims to make it unbearable for all involved. This type of judgment can lead to shortsightedness that prevents both understanding and resolution. New perspectives or insights may be obtained in working with a coach as a neutral party to uncover the real source of discomfort.

At the root of conflict lie unmet needs which drive us and motivate our behaviour. Our bodies let us know (even if we choose to ignore the signals) when we feel angry or tense and that our “buttons are being pushed.” A coach can help the client involved with the issue step back from the situation to view it from a neutral standpoint. Through discussion and questioning, an open dialogue about what is really going on can take place to help see the situation from all angles and get at the underlying issue and needs. A coach may challenge the client in describing how they would like to behave with the difficult situation and how they would like to change their language and behaviour to have it play out with more positive results.

By stepping back from the situation, a client is better able to reframe the situation and the intent behind the actions. Real learning may also occur when obtaining a new perspective which may not have been considered before. Armed with this additional information, a coach can help the client distill what they would like to learn from the situation and address how they will behave in the future when faced with a similar type of difficult person or situation.

Coaches help clients see struggle as a gift which each client can use to consciously shape their actions and behaviours.

How will you embrace challenges in the future?

 

Nancy Hogan is part of UBC’s award-winning Coaching Services, which offers one-on-one coaching services with a professional coach, team coaching and skill development in coaching. Services are available to all UBC faculty and staff. For more information about UBC Coaching Services, visithttp://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/ open link in new window (or tab)

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COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS

News from the Pensions Office

by UBC Pensions Office

Mark your calendars! The Staff Pension Plan’s Annual Pension Fair will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2010 from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm. The fair will be held in the Arbutus Room, Ponderosa Centre, 2071 West Mall. There will be information booths, several opportunities to learn more about the SPP and retirement benefits, and a representative from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will be available to answer questions. Visit the SPP website www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff/ and watch for the May 2010 issue of theStaff Pension Plan Update newsletter for more details.

Did you know that the Staff Pension Plan offers information sessions and workshops throughout the year? These sessions and workshops are designed to help you understand pension plans, the Staff Pension Plan, and how they may help you with your financial and retirement planning. Visit the SPP Workshops page at www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff/workshops.html to view upcoming dates and registration information.

Annual Statements are coming soon! Further information is available on theSPP website.

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UBC named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2010

by UBC Human Resources

UBC - canada's best diversity employer 2010

UBC has topped Canada’s Best Diversity Employers list for the third consecutive year, among 44 other Canadian employers. UBC is the only post-secondary institution in BC to receive this recognition in the 2010 roster, and is one of four national academic institutions to be awarded.

Winners of the competition are chosen by Mediacorp’s editorial team, based on applications submitted to the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.  This year, more than 2,600 employers started the application process, which was reduced to just over 300 short-listed employers for the diversity competition.

“This award recognizes that UBC is putting its commitment to equity and diversity into action,” said Tom Patch, Associate Vice-President, Equity. “Advancing diversity at UBC is about more than a diverse workforce; it’s about ensuring that diverse perspectives are included and welcomed throughout the organization. Achieving these goals will take time, but this award indicates that we are moving quickly and in the right direction.”

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Motivational Interviewing in Healthcare

Enhance your clinical practice skills by learning this introductory-level training of Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidence-based method of communication for supporting change. Social service and health care providers across disciplines note the benefits of working from an MI approach related to a variety of health concerns such as substance use, diabetes, dental care and eating disorders.

Participants will leave the 2 day training with basic familiarity of MI core concepts/clinical style and strategies for building motivation and supporting change. This introductory workshop will benefit health and social service providers. No prior experience in MI is necessary.

Upon completing the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify 3 communication styles
  • describe the role of ambivalence
  • understand and identify the spirit and principles of MI
  • describe and demonstrate the core skills of MI
  • recognize change talk/sustain talk/resistance
  • identify ways in which MI can be integrated into current practice settings.

Date and Time:  Friday-Saturday, May 7-8, 9am-4pm.
Location: UBC Robson Square, Room C.400 - 800 Robson St, Vancouver 
Fee:  $250+tax

Click here to register. 

 

cristine urquhart

CRISTINE URQUHART, MSW, RSW, is an active member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and designs and delivers training for health and social service providers on effective communication methods for supporting change. Her passion for teaching reflects her clinical experience in supporting individuals with substance use and other complex health concerns.  

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Already a Zipcar Member?

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