Principles, scope and criteria

Continuous Learning Advancement Fund principles

The Continuous Learning Advancement Fund (CLAF) supports the creation, renewal and expansion of non-degree, fully online learning opportunities for continuous learners seeking to change (reskill) or advance (upskill) their careers in high-demand sectors. Learning opportunities should align with industry, employer, community and/or Indigenous community needs, with the goal that learning can be assessed and recognized for employment, complements current offerings, or offers pathways in BC’s post‐secondary system.

Proposal scope

CLAF is intended to serve three principal aims:

  1. Build expertise and resources for non-degree or non-credit programming among Faculties
  2. Develop novel online micro-credential educational opportunities for continuous learners primarily in British Columbia who are seeking to change or advance their careers
  3. Develop sustainable programs that can thrive beyond the CLAF funding window

Continuous learners include those who may not have had the opportunity to attend UBC degree programs, as well as those who hold degrees and are looking for supplemental university education to help them reach their goals. They may be just embarking on their career or in mid-career, looking to upskill or reskill, or otherwise pursuing further academic study.

The fund will give preference to non-degree program proposals in support of Principle 2 above, as well as online programs that can serve all regions of British Columbia.

Learning opportunities may include:

  • non-credit micro-certificate
  • partial development of a non-credit certificate (i.e., initial 2 courses)


Proposals must demonstrate how they will address one or more of these principal aims. To be considered for funding, a letter of intent (LOI) and proposal must:

  • demonstrate evidence of demand for the program that:
    • is informed by market and industry data;
    • is aligned with employer and learner needs and government priorities;
    • describes the consultation process;
  • provide a clear rationale and objectives that align with the CLAF scope and UBC’s Strategic Plan, as well as the unit/department/school and/or Faculty’s goals and capabilities;
  • align with high-demand sectors, labour market needs, community needs and/or government priorities;
  • provide a method to validate projected outcomes and learner benefits;
  • identify the competency or competencies a learner will acquire, and describe how competencies will be assessed;
  • provide a clear plan for meaningful employer, industry or community engagement and collaboration;
  • demonstrate that tuition and fees correlate with learner benefits and outcomes;
  • articulate clear program development and delivery timelines.

The proposal must also:

  • outline how this project will build the capacity for non-degree programming within the Faculty;
  • provide evidence of consultation with stakeholders within the unit/department/school and/or Faculty, the University and industry who will be involved in supporting the project. This consultation is essential in projects that involve curriculum or learning technology development;
  • provide a sustainment plan for project activities, with attention to how the program will be fiscally sustainable beyond the CLAF funding window. Please note for multi-year projects, an interim report with a financial model projection and sustainability plan of three years will need to be completed after year one to release year two funding;
  • provide an evaluation plan, complete with outcomes-based criteria that will be used to determine the project’s success/impact, as well as the methods by which data will be collected and evaluated.

Applicants who have completed their CLAF project must submit a final report to the CLAF administration team detailing a summary, impacts, achievements and sustainment one month after the project has concluded.

Applicants will also be asked to prepare a poster graphic, with the project details to be shared during Celebrate Learning Week and on the CLAF website, in the year following the conclusion of the project. Please note that most sections in the report will be shared publicly on this website.

Senate Policy V-129: Non-Credit Credentials 

Effective September 2023, all non-credit credentials must adhere to the criteria and approvals process established in Senate Policy V-129. Non-credit certificates and non-credit micro-certificates require the approval of the proposing Faculty or Faculties or UBC Extended Learning, Senate Curriculum Committee, and Senate.  

In order to be considered for Senate approval, the proposed non-credit program must: 

  1. clearly identify admission criteria, eligibility criteria, or the intended audience for the Non-Credit Credential;  
  1. align with a Non-Credit Credential category as defined in this policy;  
  1. clearly identify all requirements for completion and the number of expected hours of Learning Activities associated with each requirement;  
  1. focus on a clear purpose, such as skills acquisition, disciplinary or interdisciplinary knowledge enhancement, career progression and professional development, or a combination of the aforementioned, and articulate the competencies and program outcomes to be achieved;  
  1. be operationally viable, as determined by the Dean(s) of the responsible Faculty or Faculties, or the Director of Continuing Education.  

Non-credit certificate and micro-certificate program proposals must also include an outline of the process for learner appeals. Please refer to the full Senate Policy V-129 document for detailed information regarding the criteria and approvals for non-credit credentials. 

Those that are interested in submitting a proposal for CLAF must ensure that their proposal aligns with Senate Policy V-129, in addition to the CLAF criteria.  

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