Sheridan College – PCU-WHS Agreement Creates New Opportunities for Business Students
Creating better socio-economic outcomes for workers whose jobs are at risk because of a health condition is the ultimate goal of an articulation agreement signed earlier this month between the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) and the Mississauga-based Pilon School of Business at Sheridan College.
The agreement will allow students who have completed the diploma program in Human Resources to transfer their credits from Sheridan towards a Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) at PCU-WHS. The BDM is the first and only degree of this nature and level internationally. It provides graduates with the underpinning of knowledge, skills and competencies to assist absent workers to return to work and employing organizations to promote and protect the health of workers.
“In my opinion, a significant piece of the future of human resources will involve disability management and return-to-work,” says Shady Hana, a Professor and HR Program Coordinator at Sheridan College. “This is especially true with aspects of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) coming into play within the next three to five years here in Ontario. The partnership with PCU-WHS provides a priceless opportunity for our students to learn about this growing field.”
Professor Hana explains that the AODA will place a greater responsibility for disability management and return-to-work on employers. In addition, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario is putting a greater emphasis on having their Return-to-Work Specialists work with employers. “Having more people educated in this field benefits all Canadians because the more we are able to bring back to work individuals who have been disabled, either temporarily or permanently, mentally or physically, the more we are all winning. Maintaining one’s job also means maintaining one’s character, dignity, and credibility.”
Those students who complete the HR Diploma Program and go on to complete their BDM will then have access to qualify for two professional designations if they choose: the CHRL, or Certified Human Resources Leader designation and the CDMP, or Certified Disability Management Professional designation. The profession of Disability Management is a growing career option for graduates interested in working in the field of workplace health and HR. Disability Managers work in industrial work sites, corporate offices, insurance companies, service providers, human resources departments, unions or workers' compensation organizations.
PCU-WHS can provide access to a professional network of over 4,000 Disability Management Professionals and Return to Work Coordinators who can offer advice and guidance to assist students in their career decisions.
Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS, says that having more individuals trained and working in the field of disability management and human resources is desperately needed. “When considering that approximately 60% of all human rights complaints filed across Canada annually are disability and employment related, it will invariably be Human Resource officers who find themselves at the front line of these situations.”
Mr. Zimmermann went on to say that ensuring disabled workers maintain a successful employment relationship will directly impact the poverty level in Canada. “Almost 25% of all Canadians in poverty are individuals with disabilities (representing over 1.2 million) and in excess of 80% of all disabilities are acquired during an individual’s working life. Having more dedicated and knowledgeable professionals working in workplace disability management programs will undoubtedly help reduce this sad statistic.”
Sheridan College is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, serving over 23,000 full time students at three campuses in Brampton, Mississauga, and Oakville, Ontario. We offer over 120 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology and the skilled trades. Sheridan’s faculty, staff, programs, students have garnered many national and provincial awards of excellence, while our alumni include a long list of nominees and winners of Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Canadian Screen Awards and Annie Awards. Our vision is to be recognized as Sheridan Polytechnic, a university celebrated as a global leader in career-focused, applied education.
The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is a statutory, not-for-profit, postsecondary degree-granting education and research institution for the special purpose of creating and disseminating new knowledge including applied research in the fields of workplace safety, health promotion, return to work and disability management, comprehensive rehabilitation and disability leadership studies. It is committed to excellence in teaching and research, scholarship, and service to the broader community.