The ASPA Census 2018 questionnaire included questions about the utilization of the Accountable Professional Development Account (APDA), alternatively referred to as Accountable Professional Expense Fund (APEF).
A brief reminder: each year, on May 1, the employer provides a certain amount of APDA funds to each member. Full-time employees receive $1,100 per year. Article 12.10 of the ASPA Collective Agreement with the employer contains the relevant details of the annual allocation, and of the suggested uses of the APDA funds. You can find your personal APDA balance in PAWS, Employee, My Professional Funds. You will need to speak to your supervisor if you want to use APDA funds.
We believe that the APDA funds provide an important resource to our members who want to engage in professional development activities that benefit them and their work unit. We encourage our members to make full use of the APDA funds.
Following is a summary of the responses to several Census 2018 questions that address the utilization of the APDA funds. This is what we found:
- Between February 2017 and 2018, a majority of the respondents (66.4%) utilized their APDA resources.
- The average APDA Balance in the respondents’ accounts is $2,100, roughly two years of APDA allocation. As the average years of the respondents’ employment is just under ten years, there is evidence of the extensive use of APDA funds.
- A slight minority of respondents had retained an APDA balance to be spent on “a specific purpose” – the Census did not ask for clarification of that “purpose”. Conversely, a slight majority of respondents maintained an APDA balance without having a specific purpose in mind.
- The preferred use of APDA funds is for professional development activities (conferences, seminars) followed by the purchase of equipment for enhanced workplace productivity.