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Time for Action June Town Halls - All details

University credit transfer

Some AUPE courses count towards university labour studies courses. Skip some courses in your higher education and save money. Depending on the AUPE courses you’ve completed, you have a few options. For union stewards and AUPE activists, Athabasca University (AU) has two online programs to further your knowledge of the labour movement and labour relations. Others might want to earn their Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate. This is available at the University of Alberta (U of A).

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Athabasca University

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Are you an experienced AUPE activist? Are you a member interested in furthering your education? Are you looking for a life-long learning opportunity related to union education?

AUPE’s Education Department provides members with a unique opportunity to use hours accumulated in our education programming towards a certificate or a degree with Athabasca University (AU).

AU is Canada’s pioneering university in open and flexible distance education, dedicated to removing barriers for successful university-level study.

AU will provide up to 12 university credits to any AUPE member who decides to pursue one of the following multidisciplinary programs:

12 credits is the equivalent of four 3-credit university courses, nearly a year’s worth of post-secondary education, or half of a certificate.

The advantages of the agreement between AU and AUPE for members are numerous:

  • Take your union education further and earn a credential that will be recognized by universities and by employers.
  • Save significant amounts of time and money towards completing a university certificate or degree.
  • Complete additional university courses on a flexible, self-paced schedule, either part- or full-time.
  • Take advantage of the learning supports provided by mentors and professional educators.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of trade unionism and gain insights into the broader economic, political and legal context of union activities and strategy.
  • Hone your skills in areas that will help you perform better in concrete union activities, like OH&S issues, collective bargaining, and organizing.
  • Gain an appreciation of the history of the labour movement to better understand current conditions and future prospects of union activism.

Labour education helps ensure AUPE members are trained and willing to take a stand for public services, decent jobs and fairness in the workplace and their communities. If knowledge is power, then AUPE needs well-educated members, and the collaboration agreement with Athabasca University for transfer credits serves just that purpose.

In addition to AUPE’s agreement with AU for up to 12 transfer credits, AUPE members may also be eligible for more AU credits through the ‘Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition’ (PLAR) process or by challenging courses for credit. For information about the PLAR process, call 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6348 or go to

For more information, members should contact Lucy Modesto or Jamie Richard, Union Representative in Education, at

University of Alberta

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Do you want to take your knowledge and skills in OHS to a new level? Are you interested in life-long learning opportunities related to union education? Are you aspiring to have an impactful career in workplace health and safety?

AUPE’s Education Department provides members with a unique opportunity to use hours accumulated in our education programming towards a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Alberta.

One of the most advanced programs in Canada, the University of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Certificate is designed to help practitioners from many different backgrounds develop competencies for effective development, implementation and evaluation of health and safety programs.

This part-time program is offered in flexible and accessible formats and taught by industry experts in downtown Edmonton, Calgary, and across Alberta through partnerships with local colleges. Students may also fulfill all program requirements through online courses.

The University’s Continuing Education division will waive up to 35 hours of enrichment seminar requirements to any AUPE member who decides to pursue the Certificate. This will save the learner over $1,000 in university fees.

Instructions to Prospective Students

Each student’s transfer credit or hours waived in the OHS enrichment seminars is based on the University of Alberta’s assessment of the individual’s AUPE educational attainment.

Using the Credit Transfer Letter of Understanding, the Health and Safety program team at Continuing Education will review the applicant’s letter from AUPE and determine the number of hours towards enrichment seminars requirement to be awarded.

AUPE courses that count towards credit in the University of Alberta’s Continuing Education division include (and hours awarded towards the Certificate):

  • Introduction to OHS (13 hours)
  • Foundations for Union Stewards (6 hours)
  • OHS for Union Activists (13 hours)
  • Advanced OHS (18 hours)

A total of 35 hours of enrichment seminars in the OHS Certificate will be waived, with proof of completion of AUPE courses.

To qualify for a credit transfer award, the student will:

  1. Apply for admission to the University of Alberta, Continuing Education, Health and Safety Certificate.
  2. Pay to the University of Alberta the non-refundable application for program admission fee, for Continuing Education citations and certificates.
  3. Fill out the University of Alberta’s Transfer Credit Request form and pay to the University of Alberta the one-time $125 exemption fee, to obtain up to 35 hours against the 42-hour enrichment seminar requirement.
  4. Request from AUPE’s Education department to send a letter in lieu of official transcripts directly to the Team Lead for Health and Safety, Continuing Education.

Continuing Education at the University of Alberta will notify the student in writing of the official transfer credit / enrichment seminar hours waived award.