Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for funding? 
The Social Workers and Social Service Workers Professional Development Fund (the Fund) provides funding for educational opportunities to social workers and social service workers who are:

-registered members, in good standing* with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers;
-if employed, employed within Ontario; and, 
-willing to be contacted to participate in a short online evaluation survey to provide the Ministry of Community and Social Services with feedback on the Fund. 

*A member is in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers when they are not in default of payment of a membership fee and their certificate of registration is not suspended. 

What type of professional development (PD) activity does the fund provide financial assistance towards? 
The Fund provides financial assistance for registered members, in good standing, of the College to: 

-advance the knowledge and skills of social workers and social service workers.
-advance and integrate this knowledge and skills into professional practice.
-contribute to more effectively and efficiently within social service and health care systems.
-support the government's priorities to care for vulnerable populations and their complex needs including:
-Violence Against Women (including domestic violence and sexual violence and harassment);
-Individuals with Developmental Disabilities;
-Aboriginal Populations;
-French Language Services;
-Healthier Populations - including mental health;
-Equity & Inclusion; and
-Poverty Reduction.

What types of professional development activities are eligible for reimbursement?

Funding is available for training initiatives that advance the skills, knowledge, and/or practice of registered social workers and social service workers in Ontario. 

Priority will be given for training that supports the Ontario government's priorities with respect to violence against women, (including domestic violence and sexual violence and harassment), individuals with developmental disabilities, Aboriginal populations, French language services and other multi-year government priority outcomes such as; healthier populations including mental health, equity and inclusion and poverty reduction. 

What is eligible for reimbursement?
Activities eligible for funding include:
-courses, including online
-fees/costs associated with activities that support raising Aboriginal cultural awareness/competency skills 

What is not eligible for reimbursement? 
Expenses not eligible for funding include:
-books, course materials, etc.
-administrative fees
-activity fees including; exam fees, membership fees, subscription fees
-salaries for participants while attending professional development sessions
-activities for which other sources of funding/reimbursement have been received
-meals, accommodation and travel or other out-of-pocket expenses  

What is the maximum annual funding available to each applicant? 
Applicants are limited to one application for a maximum of $300 for a PD activity completed between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016 and limited to one application for a maximum of $500 for a PD activity completed between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017), subject to certain conditions.  

Is funding guaranteed? 
An applicant is not guaranteed funding. Funding for eligible activities will be available on a first-come first-served basis as well as evaluated in accordance with the objectives of the fund. All other potential sources of training funding must be pursed before this funding will be available. 

Can the Fund be used towards learning activities needed to meet the requirements of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers' Continuing Competence Program (CCP)?

Yes, you can apply to the Fund using an eligible learning activity taken to meet the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers' CCP requirements. The CCP is a registration requirement for all College members. 

Will you respond to requests for confirmation of application submitted? 
Due to the large number of applications anticipated, receipt of applications will not be confirmed. The applicant will be contacted by email within four (4) weeks of the date of receipt, to notify them of the outcome of their application. The Fund Administrator reserves the right to validate information with the applicant and to request additional documentation as required. 

What are the application requirements? 
Applicants must have attended an eligible PD activity.  

Applications must be submitted online, faxed, emailed or postmarked within 90 days of the completion of the PD activity with proof of payment and proof of completion.  

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.  

Why is it important that I participate in the evaluation survey? 

The Fund is being piloted for two years (September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2017). 

Upon completion of the pilot, the Ministry of Community and Social Services will conduct an overall evaluation of the Fund to determine its effectiveness. The results of the surveys will be used to help inform this evaluation. 

What is considered proof of completion of a professional development activity?
Proof of completion can be a course certificate or transcript from the educational institution; a certificate of attendance at a conference, workshop or seminar; or a printout from a student-based web-service. 

The proof of completion must include; the applicant's name, course completion date and name of the PD activity. 

Original documents are not required; photocopies are acceptable. Documents will not be returned. 

Applications that do not include proof of completion will not be considered. 

What are the timelines i need to be aware of? 

Only PD activities completed during September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017 are eligible for funding. 

Applications must be submitted within 90 days of the completion date of the professional development activity.

No exceptions will be made for late or incomplete applications.   

Can I receive reimbursement from more than one source? 
You are not eligible to apply to the Fund if you have received full reimbursement

from another source for the same PD activity, or if you have an application pending from another organization or funding source. 

If you received only partial reimbursement from another funding source, you will need to disclose the partial amount received on your application. 

Can I apply in advance for funding for a professional development activity?
No advanced funding is provided. The PD activity must be completed prior to submitting an application.  

Do I have to provide my Social Insurance Number? 
Professional development funding is considered a taxable benefit. A Social Insurance Number must be provided to comply with federal and provincial income tax laws. Therefore, recipients of funding will be issued T4A information in accordance with the Income Tax Act. 

For more information, see Paragraph 56.1.n of the Income Tax Act or visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website at 

How will I be reimbursed? 
Funds are reimbursed using direct deposit. Banking information must be submitted with your application. If your application is approved, the reimbursed amount will be directly deposited into your account using the banking information provided with your application. 

Please note that funds can only be deposited into personal bank accounts. Fees paid by businesses are not eligible. The rules of the Fund prohibit employers being reimbursed. 

Are professionals in private practice eligible to apply to the fund? 
Professionals in private practice must apply to the fund as an individual professional rather than as a business. Applicants must have paid for the PD activity using a personal bank account and not a business account. 

Can I apply more than once?
No, applicants are limited to one application for one PD activity to a maximum of $300 completed between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016 and are limited to one application for one PD activity to a maximum of $500 completed between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.