The Federation has held the Skills Development Symposium annually since 1985 to bring elected student representatives, volunteers, and students’ union staff together to develop a broad range of skills required to effectively operate a students’ union.


The Symposium is a three-day conference, typically spanning a weekend. The weekend includes workshops and seminars from students’ union staff and professionals from organisations like CUPE BC and Earnscliffe Strategy Group. There are also plenty of opportunities for networking so students can exchange information, share successes and challenges, and build relationships with elected members from other students’ unions in an informal setting.

Past sessions offered include:

  • Introduction to how Post-Secondary Education in British Columbia operates

  • Navigating Institutional Governance

  • Public Speaking

  • Social Media

  • Effective Meeting Participation & Facilitation

  • Protecting the Right to Organise: Directors’ Responsibilities

  • Media Relations

  • Working Collectively: Directors, Volunteers and Staff

  • Understanding Students’ Union Finances

  • Membership Outreach

  • Negotiating Contracts

  • Strategic Planning


The 2022 Skills Development Symposium marked the 37th year of hosting this skill-building event. It was such a joy to bring student leaders from across the province together to network and learn amongst their peers. Students gathered in Victoria where they were able to attend 10 informative sessions, meet with other students’ union directors and staff from across the province and leave with the skills necessary to do their jobs to the best of their ability! Here's a glimpse at some highlights from the 3-day event!





Students were also given access to the materials from all sessions to take back to their students’ unions including a Students’ Union Directors’ Resource Guide to assist with director training. The Students' Union Director's Resource Guide is free for directors at BCFS member local students' unions.

Not a member? If you're interested in purchasing the resource guide for your students' union email [email protected] to learn more.