How old do you have to be to participate in the Program?
The program was designed specifically for youth between the age range of 14 to 19. However, youth who fall outside this range would still be able to participate in the program. From a developmental psychology perspective, it is not recommended for youth younger than 13. Although all youth develop differently and have various learning styles, it is ultimately at your discretion. Let it be known that the World Health Organization’s definition of youth defines youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. Therefore, this program may be of interest and benefit to those much older than 19. SJA Connect was developed with the purpose of reaching all populations of youth in Canada.
How long does the program take to complete?
The Leadership Level I Certificate takes approximately 10 hours to complete. There are five core topics (SJA in Canada, Why Volunteer, Team Dynamics, Conflict Resolution and Citizenship). Each of these topics has an estimated completion time of 1.5 to 2 hours. This will depend on which activities you choose to achieve each learning objective. Activities vary in time from 10 minutes to over an hour.
For the Leadership Level II Certificate, it is an estimated 50 - 52 hours. The standard first aid/CPR-C course is a two-day course (8 hours each day). The Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety, Emergency Preparedness and Balanced Lifestyles topics are an estimated 1.5 to 2 hours each. Lastly, the Volunteerim Level I requires 30 hours of volunteer work. A note that the standard first aid/CPR-C course can be substituted for emergency first aid in provinces where this certification is more warranted, therefore completion time will vary.
When youth reach the final Leadership Level III Certificate, they are required to complete a total of 10 elective topics. From the four program modules (1. Health and Safety, 2. Volunterism and Community Service, 3. Leadership and Communication, and 4. Life Skills), youth are required to choose at least one elective from each module area. The remaining six topics can be chosen from any single or combination of module areas. Please refer to each topic’s individual Reference and Activity Guides for the estimated completion times.
can you complete elective topics at the same time as the core topics?
While it is necessary to complete the three Levels successively to obtain the certificates, you may incorporate elective topics into your programming at the same time as core topics. For example, if you are beginning the program and are completing the Level I Certificate, you may be interested in including an elective topic such as Budgeting and Moving Out at the same time you’re planning for the first certificate completion. Please note that the certificate(s) will only be awarded once all the topics are completed per level, in their respective orders from Level I thru III.
Is there a registration fee?
The SJA Connect program is a free program, however, Councils and Branches have the autonomy to charge a registration fee to cover their respective costs (e.g., facility fees, instructor fees, program materials, food, etc.). The other miscellaneous costs of the program will be the Standard First Aid or Emergency First Aid/CPR-C course that is a core topic in the Level II Certificate. It will be dependent on the Council or Branch to decide at what price point they would offer this to participants.
Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the operating Council or Branch what they would like to charge for program participation.
Do I have to join and volunteer with St. John Ambulance?
SJA Connect is a non-membership program. Therefore, it is not mandatory for participants to join and volunteer for St. John Ambulance. However, we do encourage the participants to volunteer with us by educating them about the opportunities available in our organization. Another part of the program includes Volunteerism Level I and II, which require participants to accumulate anywhere from 30 to 60 hours of volunteer service. Participants may choose to partake in SJA related volunteer activities to complete these topics, but it is not necessary that it be completed with our organization.
Is there National funding available to support Council or Branch implementation?
Currently, National Office has funding available to support our National Coordinator in training and helping Councils/Branches implement the SJA Connect program. Our funding also helps to support translation of our program materials. Councils/Branches are responsible for any costs associated with the program. We recommend looking into different grants to apply for in your area.
Can I combine different learning completion styles to complete the modules?
Yes! You can complete each topic with the same learning completion method or with a variety of completion methods. To date, the most popular learning completion methods are Facilitator-Led and Special Events.
I don’t have access to Internet; what other ways can I complete a topic?
If you are completing the program on a self-guided basis and you do not have access to the Internet or a computer, there is the option for the Council/Branch to mail you program materials. This will be dependent on the resources of the Council/Branch. Although we encourage everyone to take advantage of the online system for SJA Connect, it is not necessary for all completion methods. The online system is used to create a sense of community for the program, as well as a place to host program resources (e.g., reference material, activity guides, etc.) and includes a blogging feature for those completing the program through special events, team challenges or self-guided challenges. If you choose any of the completion methods requiring blogging, you may submit these blogs in a hard copy to the youth leader at your local Council/Branch.
I have already passed a course in Cooking and Nutrition with another organization; Can I get credit for that?
Absolutely. One of the six completion methods for SJA Connect is External Equivalencies. Therefore, if a participant has previously completed a topic by other means (e.g., leadership camp, school, etc.), they can submit an application to receive a credit for the specific external equivalency. The participant will have to explain how the past course meets the same learning objectives as the SJA Connect topic they are looking to receive an equivalency for. It will then be assessed and either approved or denied by an Administrator or Youth Leader.
Are the certificates officially recognized by College/School Boards?
To date, the certificates are not yet recognized by Colleges or School Boards. However, as the program grows, we hope to collaborate with educational institutions to achieve a recognized status.