Nov 20, 2017 Last Updated 10:16 AM, Nov 8, 2017

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Refund of Tuition

The following eligibility criteria will guide the application of refunds: 

  • Employment Status
    • Actively serving employees within  the Public Sector
    • Inactive employees who applied for the tuition refund at least three (3) months prior to separation from the service, and would not need to serve a bond or had already done so. 
    • Permanently appointed officers who have served a minimum of two (2) consecutive years (inclusive of temporary service, if any) and have served their probationary period  
    • Temporary officers who have served a minimum of five (5) years continuous service  
  • Employment Type
    • Full time - Contract of Service/Open ended Employment service
    • Part-time
    • Contractual - Contract for Service/Fixed Term Employment   
  • Study Benefits
    • Persons who were granted leave without pay for study purposes
    • Persons who accessed grants/scholarships of 60% or less of total cost of tuition fees
    • Persons who were granted no more than 40 days Day Release 
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The following conditions would deem persons not eligible for a refund: 

  • Employment Status 
    • Persons who have separated from the service and not actively serving within  the Public Service  
    • Inactive employees who applied for the tuition refund less than three (3) months prior to separation from the service, and would need to serve a bond. 
    • Permanently appointed officers who have not served a minimum of two (2) consecutive years (inclusive of temporary service) and have served their probationary period  
    • Temporary officers who have served less than five (5) years continuous service  
  • Employment Type ◦ Part-time
    • Contractual - Contract for Service/ Fixed Term 
  • Study Benefits 
    • Persons who were granted leave with pay for study purposes will not be eligible 
    • Persons who accessed grants/scholarships of over 60% of total cost of tuition fees
  • Persons who were granted Day Release for more than 40 days accumulatively 
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The status and terms of employment prior to and during studies are taken into account when processing the requests for Tuition Refund and benefits, if any, extended accordingly.

In the case of separation, providing the application for refund is submitted as outlined at FAQ 1 bullet 2, all other conditions met, the Officer will be eligible for a refund once the bonding period, if required, has been served.   Where the applicant experiences movement across entities during or after completion of studies and there is no break in service or change in the term of employment, the process would not be adversely impacted.

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Refund will only be in respect of studies pursued whilst in the service.

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This benefit became available to public sector employees with effect from July 2008, for officers who completed courses of study since September 2001.

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NO, that officer would not be eligible to apply for a tuition refund at this time, as the deadline for submission of such applications has passed.

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An officer may be reimbursed up to sixty percent (60%) of tuition fees paid, subject to a ceiling of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) or in keeping with the negotiated percentage and/or in accordance with the provisions of the respective entity’s approved manual.

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An eligible officer can benefit from the facility once at each tertiary level, i.e. undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate.

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In order to be eligible for the tuition refund, the programmes/courses should be accredited and pursued at an institution registered or approved under/by the University Council of Jamaica. The duration of the programme/course should be no less than three (3) months.

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For the strict purpose of this facility, the table below provides an outline of Submitted on July 30, 2015 the categories under each classification.

UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE POSTGRADUATE
Certificates Bachelor’s Degree Post-grad Certificates
Diplomas Association of Chartered Post-grad Diplomas
Associate Degrees Certified Accountants (ACCA Level 2) PHD
Certified Accounting Masters
Technician (CAT) Level C ssociation of Chartered
Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Certified Accountants (ACCA Level 3)
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA Level 1)
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YES, where an officer applied at least (3) three months before separation if the office was unable to process the payment and the applicant does not need to sign a bond, he/she would still be eligible for the refund providing all other conditions are met. Also, this would constitute involuntary separation; hence, reasonable consideration would be given.

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An officer is subject to the terms and conditions set by the Government of Jamaica as outlined in the Bonding Policy and/or any other document outlining the standards and principles set thereby.

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The following is an Extract from GOJ Bonding Policy | Section 5.2 - Bonding Ranges and Period which applies to Public Sector Employees. It is noted however, that some entities overtime developed retrofitted internal bonding arrangements.

Refund Amount  Bond Period Required # of Guarantors 
 Below $300,000.00  No bond None 
 $300,000.00 - $499, 999.00  2 years' service  1
 $500,000.00 - $999,999.00  3 years' service  2
$1,000,000.00 - $1,999,999.00 4 years' service 3
$2,000,000.00 and over 5 years' service 3

There is also a requirement for applicants to acquire Guarantor(s).  Depending on the sum to be refunded the applicant will need guarantor(s) to also sign the bond agreement.

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Providing the officer has not yet served his/her bond during the processing period, he/she would be required to sign the Bonding Agreement and serve the bond. Where only a portion of the bond is already served, the officer will be required to serve the remaining period in keeping with the established Bonding guidelines mentioned above.   The bonding period begins the first working day after the date of the last examination sat by the applicant.

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The programme of study should have received accreditation prior to the commencement of study.  However, there are some Institutions that are required to commence the process of accreditation by using the first batch of students. Hence, some receive accreditation retroactively.  In such a case the officer may be eligible for the tuition refund when the course is given accreditation by the University Council of Jamaica; providing that the certification /graduation is effected after the date of accreditation.

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Programmes/Courses exemption are as follows:

  • Courses for less than three (3) months duration
  • Courses deemed not relevant to the Public Sector. 

- Relevance to be determined by the Office of the Services Commissions/Competent Authority within the relevant Agencies or Statutory Bodies.

  • Online courses not recognized by the UCJ
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Follow these steps to submit your request for a refund

  • Ensure you are in receipt of the certification for the programme completed
  • Complete the Standard Refund of Tuition Application form
  • Submit completed form to your Human Resource Development (HRD) Department

NOTE: Submitted applications should be accompanied by all required supporting documentation.
Applicants may be contacted post submission in case additional information is needed or for the purpose of seeking clarification.

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Applications for tuition refund should be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Original certification awarded - Degree/Certificate
  • Evidence/Proof of payment - certified Statement of Accounts from the institution or receipt (original receipts must be seen and verified)
  • Copy of TRN and or Driver’s License 

The following are also necessary for the completion of a submission for refund. However, these should be available in the HR Department on the officer’s personal file.

  • Evidence that applicant did or did not benefit from Study Leave, Day Release, Scholarships or any other form of Grant
  • Copy of permanent appointment letter and or copy of letter of employment to determine years of service
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The tuition refund is offered based on successful completion of a course of study. Hence, an application for refund must be made within six (6) months after receiving certification for the programme completed. However, it should not extend beyond one (1) year after the completion of study.

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The list below indicates benefits that would exempt an officer from being eligible for a tuition refund:

  • Full Scholarships
  • Grants of 60% or more of total tuition fees paid from/through any government organization
  • Full pay Study Leave (a grant of study leave is already considered a benefit)
  • Day Release for more than forty (40) days during the specific course of study.
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The roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder group are as follows:  

Employee

  • Advise HRM of intent to study and seek clarity on course relevance  
  • Submit the required documentation to the HRMU upon completion of the course of study in a timely manner  
  • Where the applicant is aware that he/she will be completing the programme beyond the prescribed time then the applicant should inform Hr in a timely manner and indicate the tentative date of completion.
  • Effect all the necessary requirements for payments

Human Resource Management Unit

  • Prepare annual budget to facilitate refund of tuition requests
  • Process all requests for tuition refund using the first in first out accounting principle   
  • Approve tuition refund applications that meet all the criteria
  • Advise all applicants of the status of their requests
  • Advise the general employee population of changes to the tuition refund processes
  • Provide clear instructions to the Accounting Officer for payment
  • Submit copies of approval for Refund of Tuition payments to the respective Unit in the Ministry of Finance & Planning to aid in the monitoring process.  
  • Where there is doubt seek clarification from the relevant officers within Ministry of Finance & Planning, if deemed necessary.

Finance/Accounts Unit

  • Ensure the necessary checks and balances on all calculations are submitted for payment
  • Effect payment requests submitted by the Human Resource Management Unit in keeping with the established Government accounting principles and procedures

Tuition Refund Steering Committee/Team (this committee/team will be set up by the organization)

  • Review submissions from the HRMU ensuring that all the guidelines are being followed
  • Rule on issues of course relevance where applicable - The committee should be able to determine if the course is relevant to the public sector.  
  • Make decisions regarding recommendations for payment from HRMU
  • Monitor the processes undertaken by the HRMU
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  • An appeal should only be considered if the officer has reasonable doubt that he/she has grounds for eligibility after clarity is sought from HRMU and dialogue has proven futile.
  • Appeals relating to relevance of the course for Tuition Refund purposes should be made; in respect of Central Government employees and employees in Agencies overseen by the OSC, to the Office of the Services Commissions; and to the relevant Board for  officers within the respective Agencies/Statutory Bodies.  
  • All other appeals regarding refund of tuition processes are to be sent to the Employee Relations and Benefits Unit, Ministry of Finance and Planning MOF&P.
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Final Payment will be subject to the availability of funds and in keeping with the processing timelines established by the respective entity and or the Finance/Accounts Unit.

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Yes. An employee would be eligible to receive a tuition refund while being bonded to the Government of Jamaica, once the bonding period is not in relation to the refund itself but for other purposes.  In the event that the officer is also required to serve a bond in relation to the tuition refund the bonding period is applied and counted separately but may be served concurrently.

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The request for a refund of tuition fee for an officer who completed studies up to and including March 31, 2009, should have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Planning by December 31, 2009, for processing.  If the application was not submitted by this deadline then the officer would no longer be eligible to apply for the refund.

However, in cases where entities (agencies/Statutory Bodies) had received applications in keeping with the deadline, but did not process as a result of the facility not yet been set up it is still expected that these will be honoured.

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Where requests for refund are made and the officer is eligible but payment cannot be honored due to the unavailability of funds, applications should be chronologically recorded on a waiting list for finalization and disbursement in the next financial year, or once the funds become available, whichever time is shorter.

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Persons employed on Fixed Term Contract would not normally be eligible for a refund.

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The Ministry with responsibility for the Public Service is charged with ensuring that all policies established are adhered. The Bonding Policy for the Government service is one such and there should be no attempts to manipulate the established principles. The Ministry is therefore not inclined to support the option to take a lesser amount to reduce the bonding period.  Notwithstanding, any such case resulting from extremely unforeseen and  unavoidable circumstances must be referred to the Ministry with  responsibility for the Public Service for a decision before provisions for processing/payment can be effected. Such request must be initiated by the applicant only.

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