Service Excellence Training Program (SETP)

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SETP Foundations will be offered in 2023
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The Service Excellence Training Program (SETP) is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge and mindset to support the culture of service at the heart of the University of Alberta’s operating model. 

Intended for staff, supervisors and managers across all administrative and academic services, the program will equip you to:

  • understand the language and expectations of our service culture
  • grow your strengths by identifying and enhancing core competencies
  • leverage collaboration to improve the processes you use everyday
  • apply service excellence principles to deliver the highest standard of service


SETP combines self-paced online learning with live, virtual application sessions. Complete the module videos at your own pace, then attend a live session to apply your learning, engage in conversations with other university staff, and ask questions. 

Introductory Module

Upon completion of the introductory module, participants will be able to: 

  • Outline the service culture needed within the new operating model (UAT)
  • Recall the University of Alberta’s mission, vision, and values

Self-paced, online learning (45 - 60 min) 

  • Leading with Purpose
    • UofA History
    • Vision, Mission, Values
  • Our New Structure
  • Service Excellence Principles
Module 1

Upon completion of Module 1, participants will be able to: 

  • Summarize essential elements of service excellence 
  • Identify competencies necessary for delivering excellent service 
  • Outline the importance of providing service excellence at the University of Alberta

Self-paced, online learning (1.5 hours total) 

  • Defining service
    • Foundational service elements in a post-secondary setting 
    • Five key service steps for use in the university context
  • Creating a Culture of Service Excellence 
    • Importance of a consistent service brand and how every employee impacts the user experience 
  • University of Alberta Service Excellence Competencies 
    • Service competencies that are critical for specific roles
    • Self-assessment tools for service competencies 

Interactive, virtual session (2 hours) 

Active engagement to reflect, practice and apply critical lessons from Module 1.

Module 2

Upon completion of Module 2, participants will be able to: 

  • Develop and deliver messages that enhance service excellence 
  • Illustrate how to meet the varying needs of diverse clients 
  • Provide opportunities for self and team care 

Self-paced, online learning (1 hour total) 

  • Service Efficiency 
    • Maintaining efficient service without sacrificing quality and client engagement
  • Service Consistency
    • Pros and cons of using scripting and developing scripts
  • Managing Stress 
    • Strategies to manage team stress through the demands of providing a culture of service excellence 

Interactive, virtual session (2 hours) 

Active engagement to reflect, practice and apply critical lessons from Module 2.

Module 3

Upon completion of Module 3, participants will be able to: 

  • Effectively communicate with clients
  • Recall necessary strategies for managing challenging customers
  • Differentiate between managing difficult situations and customers individually or when escalation is needed 

Self-paced, online learning (1.5 hours total) 

  • Active Listening and the Conversation Cycle
    • Four phases of the conversation cycle, navigating unclear requests, and avoiding jargon 
  • Challenging Conversations
    • Saying “no” and delivering bad news by managing emotions and moderating expectations 
  • De-escalating Difficult Clients 
    • Difficult “types” of clients and managing potentially volatile situations 
    • Best practices for ensuring safety and escalating situations to gain support 
  • Decision-Making and the Escalation Strategy 
    • Identifying when to use escalation strategy 

Interactive, virtual session (2 hours) 

Active engagement through practice and role-playing that applies Module 3 concepts.

Resources for Supervisors

Supervisors play a critical role in the training and development of their team members. Being involved in your staff’s training shows that you value their development and support their growth.

The SETP eClass page has a Supervisor Resource Guide for each module. Use these to engage in conversation with your staff member about the concepts covered within the program. The SETP eClass page also includes the Learning Reinforcement Tip Sheet, which offers you strategies to help your staff member build personal capacity around service excellence principles and integrate these practices into their work.