PAN/OAN PHA Level I Leadership Training

PAN is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network to provide a Level I PHA Leadership Development Training that will be taking place September 25th through to 28th at Loon Lake, BC.  This training is being presented with partial funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada – ACAP, as well as with the generous financial support of Merck Frosst.




This is an entirely new program direction for PAN (and for BC!), dedicated to helping PHAs realize their individual leadership potential. The PAN Board, staff, contractors and our friends at the OAN are very excited about this program, and the role that these trainings could play in creating or strengthening a network of PHA leaders here in BC and helping to build “our movement”.   

What is the PHA Leadership Development Training?

The OAN has operated a PHA Leadership Development Training Program for PHAs from throughout Ontario since March 2006. To date there have been 191 graduates of Level I, who asked the question: “Who am I as a Leader?”

The three main objectives of Level I:

To identify personal values and philosophy;

To develop leadership skills and practices;

To gain community knowledge and awareness.

The OAN also provides Ontario PHAs with Level II training on Communications, and Level III training on Organizational Governance.  Alumni events are also held in Toronto for graduates.

The training that will be delivered for BC PHAs in September at Loon Lake will be a Level I. It must be emphasized that the upcoming PHA Leadership Training is a professional development opportunity – not a retreat. The training will take place over the course of four days that are very structured and intensive. While there are scheduled breaks, the days are quite long and people attending the training are expected to be present and participating for the duration.

What might folks and PAN member organizations expect to get out of attendance at the PHA Leadership Development Training?

Recently the OAN undertook an evaluation of the Leadership Development Training by surveying and interviewing graduates as well as staff of OAN member organizations i.e. ASO’s.  The survey found that graduates:

Experienced Improved self-esteem and confidence

Discovered new techniques for resolving conflicts

Felt increased comfort with disclosing their HIV status

Had improved capacity to envision the future and to set goals

Felt improved motivation for volunteering and ongoing learning


75% of grads reported feeling more meaningfully involved in the HIV movement

Over two-thirds (69%) of ASO staff reported that graduates were “more” or “a lot more” meaningfully involved at their agency/organization

BC’s First PHA Leadership Training – Laying the Groundwork for the Future

This is a pilot project for PAN and the OAN, and we hope that this first training will help to pave the way for greater funding and ongoing collaboration with the OAN to make this valuable professional development opportunity available to greater and greater numbers of PHAs in BC. 

We hope that each person who attends the 1st training will have a positive and meaningful experience!! And we also hope that graduates will help us to “spread the word” about the value of this program with their peers, friends and colleagues, back at their organizations, and within their communities.

Who will be delivering the training?

We are tremendously grateful to the OAN in that Thomas Egdorf, their Director of PHA Programs, and Ed Argo, long-time volunteer facilitator, will be travelling in from Toronto to facilitate the September event. Also, we are pleased to announce that “BC’s own” Kath Webster, of the Positive Women’s Network, and Marc Seguin, from the BC Persons with AIDS Society, will be volunteering with PAN and working alongside Thomas and ED as “co-facilitators in training”.

Who is eligible to attend the training in September?

The application process for the September training is now closed. In order to attend, a person must be living with HIV/AIDS and resident in BC. By submitting an application, a person and their sponsoring PAN member organization also indicated that they agreed to the Code of Conduct for the training, as well as the Financial Guidelines . To see these documents,  click here.

A total of 36 applications were received for the September training. All applications were reviewed by our volunteer Selection Committee comprised of PHAs.  A total of 18 persons were selected for this 1st BC training, and a small back-up list of candidates was also generated in the event there are persons who decide in the end they are not able or willing to attend the training, and who provide us with the required 72-hours notice.

For this September 2009 training, priority was given to persons who have past participation with PAN as former or current delegates to network proceedings, and our volunteer Selection Committee also worked to ensure diverse representation including women, youth and Aboriginal PHAs.

What costs are covered? What costs are not covered?

PAN will cover the following costs for all successful applicants: long-distance or local ground or air travel to and from Vancouver; bus transport from meeting point in Vancouver to and from training facility at Loon Lake; accommodation and meals while at the training; hotel room pre- and post-training, for persons travelling from outside of the Lower Mainland, where required.

We will also provide child care subsidies wherever possible.

Please note: PAN is not in a position to provide per diems, or provide for meals outside of the training days (we will provide dinner on Sept 25th, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on Sept 26th and 27th, breakfast and lunch on the 28th). Those costs must be borne by the PAN member organization/agency, or the individual.

What is the fee?

We are asking for a contribution of $150 per person from each PAN member organization who has someone attend the training from their agency. These funds will be entirely devoted to covering some of the direct costs of the training that we do not currently have full funding for namely:  travel and childcare subsidies.

We do not want this to represent a barrier to PHAs being able to attend the training, so some flexibility will be in place for cases where paying this amount would present a true hardship for the organization in question. At the same time, we feel that a $150 financial contribution for a four day professional development experience of this caliber is fair and we also hope that this will help to ensure that there are no “no-shows”.

All fees are due to PAN by September 15th, in order to confirm a person’s attendance. Fees will be refunded in the event a person is unable to attend the training, provided notice is received by PAN by September 18th.  After September 18th the fees are non-refundable.

“No Show” Policy

We hope that there is enough excitement, enthusiasm and interest in this training that we will not have any “no shows”. At the same time, we want to stress that at present, we only have the resources to provide this training to a very limited number of PHAs in BC. The OAN is generously donating the time of their staff and volunteer co-facilitators. PAN is allocating finite and limited resources to make this training a reality. Finally, this pilot project is a precious opportunity to pave the way for more training in future.  

We will therefore be implementing a “no show” policy. In the event that a person does not arrived at the designated meeting time and location on September 25th, or fails to provide 72 hours notice of inability to attend (i.e. by 9 A.M. on Tuesday, September 22nd), PAN will invoice their endorsing organization or agency for 100% of their training cost including any travel charges incurred by PAN, as well as their accommodation and meal costs. Exceptions: unexpected medical or health emergencies, family emergencies


Here are some closing thoughts from Kath and Marc, who had the opportunity to take the Level I training in Toronto, and who have been very involved in working with PAN and the OAN in bringing this training to BC.  When brainstorming what they thought the potential benefits of this training could be for BC PHAs, Marc and Kath came up with this list:

  • Confidence building
  • Networking
  • Start/enhance skill set
  • Empowerment: Self awareness and self esteem building
  • A “voice” at ASO’s
  • Leadership recruiter
  • Mentor
  • Making+ive connections
  • New model for BC to consider
  • For current or experienced leaders in HIV work:  strengthen skills; time to recharge; reinforce commitment to work or go in new direction
  • For people new to HIV work:  develop awareness of HIV/AIDS community and history