Back to Work/School


Universal Learning Institute considers this Back to Work Plan, a plan that will evolve with new knowledge and requirements from both the Province of British Columbia and WorkSafe BC direction.  ULI has consulted with frontline workers, and supervisors in identifying protocols for our workplace.   ULI is following the six step process as identified by WorkSafe BC in a COVID-19 Safety Plan and returning to safe operation  which outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by WorkSafe BC. We expect to develop and modify this plan while protecting the safety of our workers and customers based on information from Federal, Provincial and WorkSafe BC guidelines. 

Universal Learning Institute began staggered employee return to work on June 8th.  We will not welcome students back to the face to face teaching environment until the Provincial Health Officer signals the appropriate return with the condition’s students must adhere to.  January 4 is the anticipated start with the right of ULI to delay or reopen to students based on ULI’s discretion within approved guidelines from Provincial authorities and WorkSafe BC.  Any visitors are currently welcome with distancing and warnings with signage.  The objective of this plan is to help stakeholders confidently and safely take the first steps back into our public space and workplace.


1:  Assess the risks at workplace

2.  Implement protocols to reduce the risks

3.  Develop Policies

4.  Develop Communication plans and training

5.  Monitor your workplace and update your plans as necessary

6.  Assess and address risks from resuming operations


Assess the risk at your workplace

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, or from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. The risk of person to person transmission increases the closer you come to other people, the more time you spend near them, and the more people you come near. The risk of surface transmission increases when many people contact the same surface and when those contacts happen over short periods of time. ULI will continue to assess the workplace after operations resume to ensure risks are identified and managed.

Involve Workers when assessing the Workplace

We have involved the ULI “family” to ensure steps are understood and for feedback.  The method of information sharing, and requests follows a similar approach to regular policy changes through email, staff meetings and other communication mechanisms (e.g. WeChat, WhatsApp). This plan is posted in a public place to be available to anyone who is at ULI, and upon request to qualified ULI parties (students, guests, employees)

  • We have identified where we congregate, such as lunchrooms, photocopy machine, reception area or classroom.
  • We have identified certain job tasks or processes require employees to come into close proximity with one another or potentially with members of the public.
  • We have identified equipment, inventory, office supplies employees may share while working 
  • We have identified what surfaces are touched often, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, equipment, and shared tools (e.g. pens)


Implement protocols to reduce the risks

ULI put measures in place to minimize the risk of transmission. We have reviewed industry specific protocols for offices on for guidance.  Additional protocols will be added over time and as required.  We have consulted about use of space before the return to work with supervisors, employees and taken the orders, guidance and notices issued by the provincial health officer into account.  Recently (Oct. 2, 2020) we received guidelines to welcome International students back to school.  Domestic students will follow all guidelines as per WorkSafe BC.  An additional section for International students has been added to be approved by EQA (Education Quality Assurance).  These measures have involved frontline workers and supervisors (Directors and admin team staff.)  Teachers and students have all been informed and coached on the expected standards to be met.  Specific student on campus protocols are listed separately under International and all Student body requirements.

Maintaining physical distance

  • Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. When outside of your home or at the office, practice social distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) away from one another to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This is in accordance with current BC provincial health orders.
  • ULI maintains a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) between workers and others wherever possible, by revising work schedules, organizing work tasks, and employing the use of dollies or other aids for work tasks that would typically be done by more than one person. 
  • Some employees continue to work from home. ULI classes are available online for students.
  • Virtual meetings continue and official appointments or scheduled events are made in this period with students or visitors to maintain planned appropriate numbers on site.  If there is a drop in visitor/student, the reception area will be responsible for ensuring the drop ins meet the criteria of wellness to be serviced.  All signs are visible from the entrance.
  • The front reception area has markings on the floor to indicate distance.  Barriers for the front reception and the Director of Student Services who may need to see students on a scheduled basis.
  • The appropriate number of people in each area of a workplace to prevent workers from coming too close to one another or members of the public varies based on the room of the activity. Signs have been posted with occupancy limits (e.g., in lunchroom, washrooms, classroom), and limiting the number of workers at one time in break locations.
  • ULI makes every effort to minimize the risk of broad transmission throughout the workplace by assigning specific spaces for specific tasks and people to make it possible to maintain distance.
  • Orders, guidance, and notices issued by the provincial health officer and relevant instruction to our industry are reviewed and acted upon on a regular basis 

Control measures for maintaining physical distance in your workplace – WorkSafe BC checklist  

Working offsite or remotely

As Directed by President and CEO at his discretion. This will include use of virtual meeting technology, access to shared documents and work tools, no face to face contact

Changes to work schedules

As Directed by President and CEO at his discretion. This included staggered hours, staggered days as needed, and/or continuous safe distancing physical set up in the facility

Changes to how tasks are done

As Directed by President and CEO at his discretion to meet requirements to include supervision and directions through virtual means even from the same facility (different rooms), use of equipment so one person does a task that normally two might do (e.g. carry books), delivery in a specific place using personal pen to sign receipt, employees to call out when moving to common area with low occupancy to ensure safety of number of people (e.g. as approaching photocopy room – voice you wish to enter when still six feet away and when no answer you know no one is in there).  At all times masks and Lysol type wipes to be available for common space use as needed.

Occupancy limits for workers

As Directed by President and CEO, each room to be measured and minimum 2-meter distance between employee desks, note of occupancy for common areas such as lunchroom, and occupancy for any room in facility; where possible make hallway one way.  If non-medical masks are needed, please contact Michael Chan, our appointed Covid 19 employee monitor for appropriate training in using your mask properly and safely.  This is supported with the WorkSafe BC link:

Limiting or prohibiting visitors

As Directed by President and CEO, scheduled appointments only with visitors and students. Drop ins may be asked to leave if occupancy numbers are too high or there are signs of not feeling well or refusal to follow distancing requirements

Reducing the number of customers

As Directed by President and CEO, only scheduled students or visitors, at the discretion of ULI. Face to face classes on a very limited scheduled basis under specific circumstances only such as mandatory clinical practice by a regulating body.  Guidelines for anticipated new International students have recently been released and the new protocols are part of the International Student section (guidelines will apply to all students)

Please see Dennis Li, President and CEO or his designate, or Linda Gavsie, Senior Vice President if you need further information

Where physical distance cannot be maintained

Where distance cannot be maintained, for example in a hallway space, or in washroom, ULI requests the use of non-medical masks and/ or a speak out system notifying “coming through” before entering common area such as photocopy room or washroom area. As face to face classes open in 2021, masks will be mandatory at ULI in cross traffic areas.  All shared physical space has sanitizer and wipes for staff, guests, students         

Cleaning and hygiene

  • ULI provides hand-washing facilities on site for all workers either in suite in each washroom or in the common washroom provided by the landlord. The location is visible and easily accessed. Employees must wash their hands, including upon arriving for work, before and after breaks, after handling cash or other materials, before and after handling common tools and equipment.  Appropriate wipes may be used at work areas in addition to hand washing. 
  • Cleaning protocol for all common areas and surfaces, barriers, equipment, tools, common tables, desks, light switches, and door handles are done on an ongoing basis with wipes or appropriate spray and cloth by individuals as they begin using equipment and surfaces and as they leave each task and all they touched.  Cleaners come in daily for common building washroom and in suite washrooms are for hand washing only.
  • To reduce the risk of transmission in the lunchroom, wipes are next to the microwave to wipe the handles and inside before each use and after each use.  Common coffee makers have been removed.  Hot water is available through our water machine.  Each individual is responsible for their own utensils and asked to keep with them at all times, to wipe the water handle before and after use and to maintain distance at all times.  This may mean eating at your desk and taking care to wipe down your area carefully

Covid 19 Safety Plan Checklist             


Covid Chart

Note that different protocols offer different protection. Wherever possible, use the protocols that offer the highest level of protection and add additional protocols as required.                                                                 

First level protection (elimination): Use policies and procedures to keep people at a safe physical distance from one another. Limit the number of people in your workplace at any one time and implement protocols to keep workers at least 2 meters from other workers, customers, and members of the public.

  • We have established and posted an occupancy limit for each room on premises.
  • We have work from home arrangements, virtual meetings, rescheduling of work tasks and limit the number of customers and visitors in the workplace.
  • Occupancy limits for common areas and specific in suite areas are posted.
  • We have implemented measures to keep workers and others at least 2 meters apart.
  • Measures in place for physical distancing: working off site with scheduled partial staff onsite, customers, visitors, staff to prearrange appointments, drop ins allowed only when occupancy and other checklist criteria met (e.g. have you been out of country in last 14 days), 2 meter markings on floor to indicate distance required. Additional details are contained in this document.

Second level protection (engineering controls): If you can’t always maintain physical distancing, install barriers such as plexiglass to separate people.

  • Plexiglass barriers are in place, sanitizers, face masks available at all times
  • Measures in place:  Barriers installed at front desk and at the desk of the Director of Student Services to ensure all communication with staff, students, or visitors is with the maximum protection possible.  Staff and students spaced in separate rooms or large rooms with occupancy limits to maintain distance on a continuous basis, Cleaning protocol includes wiping down barrier by staff person using barrier with wipes at least once an hour.          

Third level protection (administrative controls): Establish rules and guidelines, such as cleaning protocols, telling workers to not share tools, or implementing one-way doors or walkways, identified occupancy limits.

  • We have identified rules and guidelines for how workers should conduct themselves as outlined in this document.
  • We have clearly communicated these rules and guidelines through a combination of training and signage, as well as distribution of this document to staff.  As students return face to face anticipated Feb. 2021, another document will be produced.
  • Measures in place:  hallways have been marked as one way where possible, single use products for cleaning are readily available in multiple locations to wipe down equipment  (including barriers) after and before use; workers use their own equipment, such as pens, staplers, headsets, and computers; number of people using previously shared office equipment or other items (photocopiers, coffee machines, microwave ovens, etc.) minimized and cleaned before and after use; established hygiene practices that address the needs of the workplace that includes the requirement to wash or sanitize hands after coming into contact with public items.

More details available in this document as well as links to WorkSafe guidance

Reduce the risk of Surface transmissions through effective cleaning and hygiene practices                       

We have reviewed the information on cleaning and disinfecting:

  • Our workplace has enough handwashing facilities on site for all our workers.  Handwashing locations are visible and easily accessed:  common washrooms and kitchen as well as disposable wipes.
  • We have policies that specify when employees must wash their hands (wash hands before and after common area touching, doorhandles, light switches, before entering workplace as per guidelines from WorkSafe BC) and we have communicated good hygiene practices to workers through blog updates, training one on one as employee returns to office space, and signage. 
  • We have implemented cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces for tools, equipment, shared tables, desks, light switches, and door handles and barriers.  They are to be wiped by the user before and after each use
  • All cleaning supplies are supplied by ULI including gloves, masks, wipes, etc.  A janitorial service is used for deeper cleaning
  • We have removed unnecessary tools from the kitchen area
  • Cleaning protocols: Janitorial service is available twice a week while staff only in place and on student return, this will be increased to daily; each person is responsible for their own protection re wiping their computers, pens, desk, photocopier buttons and lid, kitchen counter, chairs on an as they use it basis.  There is more information in this document and through Work Safe BC links indicated here

Fourth level protection (PPE): If the first three levels of protection aren’t enough to control the risk, consider the use of non-medical masks. Be aware of the limitation of non-medical masks to protect the wearer from respiratory droplets. Ensure workers are using masks appropriately.

  • We have reviewed information on selecting and using masks and instruction on how to use a mask.  We have an on staff former ambulance attendant as well as registered nurses who have helped us learn how to use masks safely
  • We understand the limitations of masks to protect the wearer and we understand that masks should only be considered when other control measures cannot be implemented
  • We have trained workers in the proper use of masks and the value of social distancing
  • Measures in place: Masks are readily available at our front desk for anyone who wishes to use one at any time. We request the use of masks when entering common spaces or spaces where collaboration makes the 2 meter separation less likely on a human level; workers have been informed on mask use by sharing this document and the link on how to use a mask as well as in person with Michael Chan, an employee at ULI who was an ambulance first responder in his home country. In addition, we have several registered nurses on staff who have shared their current knowledge and helped ULI staff be compliant.   More information is throughout this document and in links to the WorkSafe BC site as well as some posted documents to help everyone comply with safety in the workplace.


Develop policies 

Develop the necessary policies to manage your workplace, including policies around who can be at the workplace, how to address illness that arises at the workplace, and how workers can be kept safe in adjusted working conditions.

The provincial health officer and the BC CDC have issued the following guidance around self-isolation, which are be reflected in ULI policies through this document:


Develop communication plans and training                   

ULI ensures that everyone entering the workplace, including workers from other employers, knows how to keep themselves safe while at your workplace by using a checklist questionnaire before entry into the facility.

  • Everyone is trained on the measures in place and the policies around staying home when sick. This is reinforced with regular meetings and feedback opportunities with supervisors
  • Signage posters, including occupancy limits and effective handwashing practices. Signage is posted at the main entrance indicating who is restricted from entering the premises (including visitors and workers with symptoms).
  • Supervisors have been trained on monitoring workers and workplace to ensure policies and procedures are being followed. 


Monitor your workplace and update your plans as needed       

  • Continuous improvement based on staff feedback at virtual meetings as well as directives from health authorities keeps policies and procedures current.  ULI makes changes as needed.  Staff is informed through meetings, sharing of documents, emails, and supervisory reviews.  Supervisors ensure staff, visitors and other stakeholders adhere to policies by monitoring workers and the workplace.  Written documents, signage is updated as needed.
  • Workers can raise safety concerns. The first line is the immediate supervisor who brings the concerns to senior staff meetings. Health and safety is a ULI priority and each issue addressed as normal process.  Our Health Monitor helps at all times around Covid 19 safety concerns.


Assess and address risks from resuming operations      

The workplace reopened for Administrators only in June 2020.  The plan to allow students and teachers onsite is for February 2021

    • Ongoing training as well as Covid safety measures is part of any new hire orientation
    • Staff turnover has been minimal, however the transition to total remote teaching has meant some additional training for all staff
    • Most services maintained as usual because we used Office 365 prior to pandemic
    • We continue with reopening plans as we prepare to welcome students face to face in 2021

Faculty, Staff and Students

  • Self assess daily for symptoms of Covid 19 prior to entering campus by filling in form at front reception or take online assessment
  • Read CDC BC, ULI safety document, and the resources shared to minimize the risk of spread of Covid-19
  • Stay current with announcements by reading our communications documents:  emails, announcements, newsletters etc.
  • Follow distancing, mask wearing, hand washing protocols before entering workplace and during workday with no exceptions
  • Remember to report any unsafe conditions or acts to Director of Student Services,

Campus Visitors and other Stakeholders

  • Self assess before entering campus, wash hands, and keep distance
  • Anyone who refuses to take part in a self-assessment practice will be denied entry to the school


Additional Supports for Employees/Stakeholders

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workers, and all other workers at their workplace. They are responsible for completing and posting the COVID-19 Safety Plan and to train and educate everyone at the workplace of the contents of that plan. Employers are also responsible for having a system in place to identify the hazards of COVID-19, control the risk, and monitor the effectiveness of the controls.

Workers are responsible for taking reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and the health and safety of other people at workplace. In the context of COVID-19, this means workers are responsible for their own personal self-care, which includes frequent hand washing and staying home when sick. Workers are also responsible for reporting unsafe conditions to their employer, and following the procedures put in place by the employer to control the risks associated with COVID-19.

Protecting mental health

Workers in the workplace may also be affected by the anxiety and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 outbreak. It is important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and to take measures to support mental well-being. Here are some resources that can assist with maintaining mental health in the workplace during this time.

Offices: Protocols for returning to operation


Other information:           

Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: How to use a mask:

Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: Handwashing:

COVID-19 Health and Safety: Cleaning and Disinfecting:

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19: Cover coughs and sneezes

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19: Occupancy Limit:

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19: Entry check for visitors:

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19: Entry check for visitors: ​​​​​​​



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