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Posted by on Mar 2020 in All Stories, Features, Slider | 0 comments

Making time for professional development

A woman works on a laptop in a living room.

Whether you’re looking to gain skills and knowledge to help you in your current role or to move into a new position, it’s important to make time to build new expertise and give your existing knowledge a tune-up.

We know how important professional development is, but how do we fit it into our schedule? An employer may allow time within your work schedule for professional development activities, like webinars that take place within your workday. Often, we must use our free time to attend courses, seminars and conferences. How can we maximize our time to allow for more professional development activities?

Set your goals

What are your career goals? Is there a specific position you’d like to move into? Is there a topic or skill that will help you in your current role? Think carefully about what you want to achieve and do some research to help you decide your next steps. For example, completing a project or budget management course may help you move into a more senior role.

Online searches can help you decide what might be helpful for your career development. Look into courses that might be offered by adult learning programs at local colleges. Check out the ONPHA website for possibilities. Research webinars on topics you’re interested in – they’re often free to register!


Think realistically about what you need to do to reach your job performance and career goals. You may find that it’s necessary to prioritize professional development above other activities.

Many of us spend a significant amount of time on social media – can you allocate some of that time to an online course? Can you sacrifice some of your TV time to help you learn something new? Can you re-jig your schedule so that you can attend an evening course once a week?

Everyone’s schedule is different so try to find an option that won’t leave you feeling burnt out. Think carefully about whether you can manage attending a webinar once a month or dedicating a few hours of your week to coursework. Remember that slow progress is still progress!

How can ONPHA help?

ONPHA offers a variety of online courses that can help you build your skillset as a community housing professional. Taking a comprehensive look at some of the most critical components of the sector, our online courses can help you meet the complex demands facing housing providers.

ONPHA’s online courses are self-paced, allowing you to find time in your busy schedule to meet your professional development goals. We recommend that students spend 3-4 hours per week over 12 weeks to complete their course.

Starting April 7, 2020

ABCs of RGI: Rent-geared-to-income administration

This course will prepare you for the duties of an administrator of rent-geared-to-income (RGI) under the Housing Services Act, 2011 such as:

  • using waiting lists and occupancy standards to fill vacant units
  • assessing and verifying RGI eligibility 
  • determining income and calculating RGI rent 
  • applying charges and allowances for utilities
  • how and when to implement RGI changes
  • what to do when a resident no longer qualifies

Finance Fundamentals: playing your part in sustainability and success

This course focuses on financial processes and procedures that are necessary for community housing providers. Get an overview of the fundamentals of financial oversight including:

  • core principles of good financial management and oversight
  • policies, procedures and bylaws
  • setting and monitoring a budget
  • preparing for and supporting the annual financial audit
  • end of operating agreements and its impact on finances
  • managing financial risk
  • key considerations for meeting accountability, legislative and Canada Revenue Agency requirements

Ready, set, (re)build

Offered with support from the Ontario Ministry of Housing, this in-depth course is designed to help you maintain and build your portfolio in the modern community housing sector. Ready, set, (re)build will help you gain an understanding of how to:

  • determine the needs in and gain support from your community
  • build your team and financial resources
  • enter and navigate the construction phase
  • successfully complete and operate your new building

Supportive housing worker core competencies: enhancing your skills

Our newest online course, offered in partnership with the Toronto Mental Health & Addictions Supportive Housing Network (TMHASHN), has been developed to help supportive housing workers develop a common knowledge base of current and proven practices. Supportive housing worker competencies will help you develop knowledge and skills related to:

  • communicating effectively with tenants
  • mental health and addictions
  • navigating the social support system
  • continuous self-improvement and learning
  • self-care for supportive housing
  • promoting a culture of teamwork, collaboration and community

Visit the ONPHA website to learn more and to register.

Contact to find out more about our online learning opportunities.

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