Critical Skills for Communication in the Technical Sector


The ability to communicate information accurately, succinctly and unambiguously is an essential skill required by employers in a breadth of technical industries. This non-credit UBC micro-credential in technical communication consists of eight modules covering skills essential for employment and career advancement in the science and engineering sectors.


Credential Awarded

Participants who successfully complete all eight modules receive a UBC Okanagan Letter of Proficiency for Critical Skills for Communication in the Technical Sector, a non-credit credential.

Upon successful completion of a module, participants are issued a digital verifiable badge, which may be displayed on social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn) and personal online e-portfolios, resumes, and CVs. Each badge contains metadata that encapsulates the learning outcomes achieved.

Program Structure, Delivery and Assessment

This non-credit learning opportunity is delivered fully online through Canvas Catalog. The microcredential comprises the following eight modules:

CSCTSC 1. Technical Reporting
CSCTSC 2. Technical Writing Basics & Styles
CSCTSC 3. Grammar & Clarity in Technical Writing
CSCTSC 4. Reviewing Technical Documents
CSCTSC 5. Team & Client Communications
CSCTSC 6. Technical Training Documents
CSCTSC 7. Engaging Technical Presentations
CSCTSC 8. Winning Technical Proposals

Each module consists of five to six hours of asynchronous readings, video lectures, exercises, and assignments. Coursework is assessed as ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. You must earn 70% or higher to pass.

Session Start Date Completion Date Number of Weeks Coursework Submission Deadline*
1 March 1, 2022 August 23, 2022 25 weeks August 19, 2022
2 September 1, 2022 December 23, 2022 16 weeks December 20, 2022

*Important Note Regarding Coursework Submission Deadlines: All coursework must be submitted by the coursework submission deadline for the session in which that module was enrolled. Two attempts are permitted per assignment. The coursework submission deadline allows for enough time to review feedback from the course facilitator, edit and resubmit the assignment by the completion date. All resubmissions must be received by the completion date. For example, Session 1 opens on March 1, 2022 and closes on August 23, 2022. If a participant enrolled in Module 1 during Session 1, all coursework for Module 1 must be submitted by August 19, 2022. If the participant was asked to resubmit the assignment, the revised assignment needs to be submitted by the completion date of August 23, 2022.

Enrolment is administered through the UBC Canvas Catalog learning management system. Once enrolled, courses will be listed under the student dashboard in Canvas Catalog.

This credential has no pre-requisites nor does it require a prior or existing affiliation with UBC. Language of instruction is English. This learning opportunity is designed for adult learners; participants must be 18 years or older. This course is designed for professionals who will have typically earned a university degree or college diploma in a science

Single modules are accessed individually and completed over a flexible time period. Fees for the single modules are $150 and are non-refundable. Fees include access to all instructional content required to complete the single module. There are no additional fees for textbooks. Participants may elect to complete fewer than eight modules if they do not wish to earn the full micro-credential.

This program is delivered fully online using the UBC Canvas Catalog learning management system. It is expected that participants have access to a personal computer connected to the internet with speakers, web-camera and a microphone and that the computer is installed with web browser, word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. Weekly help sessions use Zoom (see here for technical requirements).

Course content, submission of coursework, and assessment are conducted in Canvas Catalog. Canvas Catalog software is accessed via a web browser. Links to optional and extended learning materials also are provided but are not required to complete the micro-credential. Course notes are provided in a pdf format that can be downloaded for future use. Video content is available only through Canvas Catalog. Participants have access to the course environment for four weeks after completion of the micro-credential. All materials required for completion of the micro-credential are provided within Canvas Catalog. Participants do not have online access to the UBC Library system.

Christa BedwinChrista Bedwin
B.Ed., B.S.c., Senior Technical Editor

Christa is a Senior Technical Editor, who has 20 years’ experience coaching scientific and engineering writers, and editing for industry, government, academia, and educational and trade publishers, with specialties in engineering and the environment. She has taught technical writing to professional engineers and scientists in Canada and internationally; has published three textbooks about writing for scientific reporting consultants; and among other projects has contributed chapters to Editors Canada’s two most recent publications, Editing Canadian English and its companion volume, Editorial Niches.

This credential is offered as part of the Career and Personal Development (CPD) program administered by the Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences at UBC Okanagan.


Queries about the credential, or the EEGS Department CPD program more generally, should be submitted to: eegs.cpd@ubc.ca. The CPD Program coordinator is Ms. Marni Turek.

Module Descriptions

Module 1. Technical Reporting

Well-written reports are essential to any scientific, engineering, or business work. High quality reports communicate effectively with clients and other parties on the project, and keep a solid accurate record of activities on a project over time. This module explores the pieces of a well-written report, with interviews from experts on executive summaries, and the importance of carefully considering your audience.

Module 2. Technical Writing Basics & Styles

The minutiae of scientific writing styles are important to have right to communicate well, but they also help to stay on the right side of any legal issues when things go wrong. Consistency, correctness, and accuracy are important in spelling, data presentation, community portrayal, and more. Learn the tools and refinements to turn out polished and professional papers.

Module 3. Grammar & Clarity in Technical Writing

Correct grammar and language are essential for any professional who wishes to advance in their field. This module covers common errors, correct English grammar, and ways to make your written words clearer, faster, and more pleasing to read. Plain language and readability are covered.

Module 4. Reviewing Technical Documents

Peer review can improve the quality of technical documents, but the process of working well with colleagues and their writing can be a learning curve. This module offers a step-by-step method to maximize efficiency, collaborate effectively, and catch as many errors as possible to be a team that turns out top-quality papers and communications.

Module 5. Team & Client Communications

Sometimes teams of good people end up stuck in ineffective patterns, though each person individually might have good skills and attributes. This module covers practices to help avoid these ruts, and to make the most of your team and client relationships through effective communications.

Module 6. Technical Training Documents

Good training can save time and money and ensure that workers and workplaces are kept safe. Poor training documents waste time, cause mistakes, and can even be deadly. Learn strategies to ensure that essential information is actually received by the trainees so that crucial knowledge is top-of-mind when it needs to be.

Module 7. Engaging Technical Presentations

Oral presentation of the results of your research or findings on a contract can be an essential way to relay information. Many people do not present information well, which can limit the reach of their ideas and the formation of professional connections. Learn tips and techniques to engage your audiences and keep them with you from beginning to end, and asking for more.

Module 8. Winning Technical Proposals

Winning someone to your way of thinking depends of course upon your technical excellence and your reputation, but using the right persuasive words and learning the elements of winning style can give you an advantage over your competitors.