Policy Statement

The City of Toronto is committed to a work environment that encourages continuous learning as a means of maintaining a competent workforce which provides a high standard of service to the public. The City is also committed to developing its employees to become more knowledgeable, competent and high performing members of the Toronto Public Service.

The Learning Strategy outlines a systematic and comprehensive plan for training and developing the Toronto Public Service. Its main objective is to support the People Plan goal of “We will be a learning organization”. In support of this objective the City provides tuition assistance reimbursement to employees who wish to improve/enhance their competencies and contribute positively to strengthen the Toronto Public Service.


All permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees, and full-time temporary employees with one year’s service.


Work related training/development

This applies to courses other than those offered internally by the City that:

  • provide skills and/or knowledge relevant to an employee’s current position in the organization.
  • provide skills and/or knowledge relevant to an employee’s current or future position at the City in an employee’s current or related field of work.
  • provide skills and/or knowledge relevant to an employee’s contribution to a strengthened Toronto Public Service through alignment with the City’s PeoplePlan and Learning Strategy objectives:
    • develop a flexible and adaptable workforce
    • expand skill sets for targeted positions
    • develop competencies
    • develop transferable skills
    • develop a capable and diverse Toronto Public Service


The request for tuition reimbursement must be initiated by the employee.

Employees must attend courses on non-work time.

The course(s) requested must be work-related and consistent with the employee’s career plans as discussed with their manager.

Courses must be delivered by a bonafide educational institution, agency or proprietor of continuous learning services. Courses that are eligible include, but are not limited to, post-secondary education through community colleges and universities (undergraduate and graduate level programs), accreditations related to trades and vocations, and professional designations and certifications.

Classroom and e-learning programs through distance learning and correspondence courses are acceptable.

Tuition assistance reimbursement is limited to 80 percent of the total cost of tuition, student fees, course materials, books, and examination fees. Parking fees and other incidentals will not be reimbursed.

Tuition assistance reimbursement is limited to a maximum of $1,500.00 (Canadian) per calendar year (January 1 – December 31) per employee. The actual amount any one individual may receive will be based on the available budget, divisional business priorities, the principle of equitable access to available funds, and anticipated demand.

Requests for tuition assistance reimbursement must be approved by the Division Head or designate of the employee’s division.


Funds for tuition reimbursement are budgeted by each division to meet the continuous learning needs of its employees.

Standard application forms must be completed and submitted for approval to the Division Head or designate in the employee’s division. The form requires employees to include a description of how the course content contributes to their knowledge, competence, and/or career development plans. The form must be signed by the Division Head or designate to ensure that (1) divisional funds are available and (2) the request reflects the employee’s performance development goals.

Employees must receive approval for a course before enrolling in order to be reimbursed.

To be reimbursed, employees are required to submit through their normal disbursement process, proof of attendance, a receipt for payment of tuition, student fees, course materials, books, examination fees, and evidence of successful completion, i.e., passing grade of the course. The institution/agency/proprietor providing the course determines a passing grade.

An employee’s yearly eligibility amount is credited based on the calendar year in which the employee is reimbursed. For example, a course that starts in the fall of one year and stretches to the spring of the next will count as reimbursement credited for the year in which the disbursement is processed.


Under special circumstances, requests can be made for exceptions to one or more of the conditions outlined in order to participate in corporate programs or based on a bona fide occupational or corporate requirement.

Requests for exceptions with full justification will be endorsed by each respective Division Head and presented to the Executive Director of Human Resources for approval.


Division head or designate.

Approved by

City of Toronto Council

Date Approved

April 13, 1999


May 25, 2011