Programming that enhances employee health and safety has always been a top priority for the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
In 2003, the ministry’s largest division, Operations Division, launched its Healthy Workplace journey by going beyond legislative requirements, and the programs and resources offered to all Ontario ministries. The division’s grassroots approach led to the creation of a network of Healthy Workplace champions and a Healthy Workplace plan. Through these efforts, Operations Division achieved the National Quality Institute’s Progressive Excellence Program levels 1 and 2 certification.
At the same time, the Ministry of Labour was also developing and participating in programs that supported the creation and maintenance of a healthy workplace culture.
Demonstrating a commitment to a Healthy Workplace, both Operations and ministry staff worked together to prepare and submit a Level 3 application. The ministry achieved Level 3 PEP certification in July 2010 for its implementation of a healthy workplace strategy.
The PEP serves as a basis for judging for the Canada Awards for Excellence. The ministry will officially receive the award on October 20, 2010
The National Quality Institute is a not-for-profit, independent organization whose goal is to help Canadian private- and public-sector organizations to implement programs of excellence. NQI works with organizations to manage self-assessment activates, review business processes, and develop improvement programs.
NQI PEP is a four-level implementation program for organizational excellence, leading to the Canada Awards for Excellence. The program is a roadmap to measure progress towards organizational excellence and to identify areas for improvement. NQI measures how an organization is doing each step of the way. A self-assessment is conducted at each level of the journey. If the rating at each level is acceptable, the organization can be certified by NQI and move on to the next level.
Level 1 focuses on the organization’s approach to excellence. The organization demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and is implementing a long-term strategy.
Level 2 builds on the foundation of commitment. The organization shows a wide understanding of its approach to excellence and can demonstrate improvement and good results in several key areas.
At Level 3, the organization demonstrates wide implementation of its strategic focus on excellence through understanding and applying NQI criteria, with positive results achieved in all key areas.
Level 4 builds on the other levels. The organization can demonstrate that it has achieved good to excellent overall results and trends from improvement efforts.
Other NQI PEP categories besides Healthy Workplace include Quality, Organizational Quality and Healthy Workplace and Education.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Canada Awards for Excellence. The Canada Awards for Excellence has recognized more than 370 outstanding organizations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The awards are considered Canada’s top recognition program for organizational excellence.