Critical Skills for Communication in the Technical Sector

Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science

Critical Skills for Communication in the Technical Sector


Time Commitment
48 Hours
Program duration
October 16, 2023 - March 8, 2024
Enrolment Period

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About this Program

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 nine courses covering skills essential for employment and career advancement in the science and engineering sectors.


Designed for

  • Professionals with a university degree or college diploma in a science or engineering discipline.
  • Individuals seeking professional development (e.g., for a professional association or society).


Program Structure and Delivery

Online Guided – SELF-PACED, COMPLETE BY MARCH 8, 2024

This non-credit learning opportunity is comprised of nine courses and is delivered fully online through UBCO’s Canvas Catalog. The program consists of 48 hours of asynchronous readings, video lectures, exercises, and assignments. Coursework is assessed as ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’.

Course 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 course explores the pieces of a well-written report, with interviews from experts on executive summaries and the importance of carefully considering your audience.

Course 2: Technical Writing Basics and Styles

The minutiae of scientific writing styles are important 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 in this course.

Course 3: Grammar and Clarity in Technical Writing

Correct grammar and language are essential for any professional who wishes to advance in their field. This course 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.

Course 4: Reviewing Technical Documents

Peer review can improve the quality of technical documents, but the process of working 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.

Course 5: Team and 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.

Course 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.

Course 7: Engaging Technical Presentations

Presenting the results of your research or findings can be an essential way to relay information. Many people struggle with speaking clearing and concisely, limiting the reach of their ideas and the development of professional connections. This course will teach techniques to engage your audiences and keep them with you from beginning to end, and asking for more.

Course 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. This course brings together a range of approaches and techniques that will help you improve your technical proposals.

Course 9: Capstone Project

This course provides an engaging capstone assignment that will allow you to apply skills and receive feedback.

Course Schedule

Course dates:

October 16, 2023 – March 8, 2024

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, learners are awarded a UBC Okanagan Letter of Proficiency (a non-credit credential).

The credential is provided in paper format. Learners will also receive a verifiable digital badge (which has descriptive metadata about the learning achievement) for sharing through digital channels.




This non-credit learning opportunity has no pre-requisites. The content is designed for adult learners; participants must be 18 years or older. The language of instruction is English.

Course Materials

All materials required for this course will be provided within UBCO’s Canvas Catalog.


  • Access to a computer with a recent operating system and web browser
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Headset and webcam (recommended)

Instructional Team

The content for this program was developed by Christa Bedwin, B.Ed., B.Sc., a Senior Technical Editor, with 20 years’ experience coaching scientific and engineering writers, and editing for industry, government, academia, and educational and trade publishers. Specializing in engineering and the environment, Christa has taught technical writing to professional engineers and scientists in Canada and internationally. She has published three textbooks about writing for scientific reporting consultants, and has contributed chapters to Editors Canada’s publications Editing Canadian English and its companion volume, Editorial Niches.


Course Fee

Standard Fee | $1350

All instructional content required to complete the course is available through the course website. There are no additional fees for textbooks.

Refunds and Cancellations

Learners who wish to initiate a refund or cancellation must do so by September 15, 2023.

StrongerBC future skills note: Any cancellation after September 15, 2023 will result in the full tuition amount being charged to your StrongerBC future skills grant.

Additional Info


This credential is offered by the Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science at UBC Okanagan. Questions about department courses and programs should be submitted to

Last updated: 2024-02-15 09:58

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