Meet Your Canadian CEBS Instructor: Sheila Phillips, CEBS

Meet the CEBS Instructor

You’re taking a CEBS® course and using the self-study approach. You’re making great progress until one day, you encounter a roadblock—You have a question about the course that no web browser search or person you know has the answer to. What now? With CEBS Online Study Groups With Instructor Support, you can count on your instructor and classmates to fill in the gaps in your knowledge by providing answers to your biggest employee benefits questions.

CEBS​​ Online Study Groups are an optional educational resource designed to augment the self-study approach.  Offered over a 12-week session (Canadian summer session runs May 8-July 28, 2023), Online Study Groups set a schedule for your study efforts and are facilitated by established and experienced CEBS professionals.

What does an online instructor do?

Your online instructor has many roles, including:

  • Designing all content and activities in your Online Study Group to help you retain knowledge and study for your CEBS exam
  • Facilitating live review sessions
  • Monitoring the discussion forum to provide clarification and guidance to learners
  • Creating discussion questions for each module and Benefits in Action Mini Case to stimulate engagement and enhance learning about employee benefits
  • Sharing their real-world experience about being a benefits professional
  • Answering questions that students submit via the discussion forum, email and private message

A Chat With Sheila Phillips, CEBS

Sheila Phillips, CEBS, FLMI
Group Benefits
Instructor: GBA 1—Managing Benefit Plans Part 1

How has earning the CEBS designation enhanced your career?

To this day, I remember receiving a note of congratulations from my division’s senior vice president, who pointed out that completing the program demonstrated commitment and dedication. I think that signaled to the organization that I was an employee who could be relied on and who could undertake big projects and see them through to completion.

What will benefits professionals learn from taking GBA 1?

GBA 1 is important to benefits professionals as they will gain an understanding of how many moving parts there are to benefits plan management and where it fits into an organization. Particularly for those students who are new in their roles, it can be revelatory to start connecting the dots between helping plan members get claims paid and how premiums are calculated. Learners will get an idea of what can go wrong if someone isn’t enrolled correctly or how to approach containing drug costs while supporting plan members with serious health concerns.

Are there any interesting current events or regulatory updates related to concepts the GBA 1 course explores?

GBA 1 is a foundational course, so it’s focused on the fundamentals. Having said that, however, I encourage students to approach the study materials while being mindful of a few trends. Those include an increasing focus on mental health and wellness products and services, current discussions about the privatization of some services and how to support workers in a gig economy.

What are your best study tips for CEBS students?

Don’t panic! Seriously, many students are a bit overwhelmed when they start GBA 1. There’s a lot of information to get through. In a perfect world, students in the Online Study Group With Instructor Support would follow the syllabus and diligently work through one module per week. In the real world, however, that may not be doable for many students. When I was studying, I found the Content Knowledge Review section of the study guide was consistently my best friend. I relied on this a lot while doing my final review and exam prep.

The 12-week, summer session of the Canadian Online Study Groups With Instructor Support is May 8-July 28, 2023. Jump in anytime and get access to materials from previous weeks.

Do you need additional guidance on your CEBS journey? Whether you’re about to take your first step or getting close to reaching your designation, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (833)886-3749 or email