National Standard

A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes and supports employee mental health and wellbeing by assessing and addressing how policies, processes, practices, and interactions affect employees, the workplace environment, and the campus culture.

The university is committed to ensuring psychological health and safety is recognized by adopting the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace as outlined in recommendation 6.4 in the Campus Mental Health Strategy. The National Standard is a set of guidelines, tools and resources for Canadian organizations to promote and support a psychologically healthy workplace.

To implement the National Standard, a cross-functional committee assesses and addresses the 13 Psychosocial Factors in the Workplace that impact the workplace and promote and support mental health and wellbeing of employees. As an organization, we have made great strides within many of the 13 Factors, and we are actively working on enhancing all of the factors in the workplace.

Implementing the National Standard is a journey involving consultation and collaboration with multiple stakeholders and the evaluation of programs and processes. The university ensures compliance through continuous monitoring and periodic reporting, and a verification process with Excellence Canada.

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Gold award

The University of Calgary Receives Excellence Canada's Mental Health at Work Gold Level Certification

The University of Calgary has received Excellence Canada's Mental Health at Work Gold Level Certification. Mental Health at Work is a progressive four-level certification process (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) that guides Canadian organizations through an implementation framework of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the National Standard). 

Mental Health at Work recognizes these organizations for outstanding policies, strategies, practices, and results in supporting mental health in the workplace.

The Thirteen Psychosocial Factors in the Workplace were developed by researchers from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction at Simon Fraser University on the basis of extensive research, including data analysis of a national sample and reviews of national and international best practices, as well as existing and emerging Canadian case law and legislation. The Thirteen Factors are relevant to all Canadian organizations and employees.

The psychological factors are elements that impact employees’ psychological responses to work and work conditions. Psychological factors include the way work is executed (deadlines, workload, work methods) and the context in which work occurs, including relationships and interactions with managers and supervisors, colleagues and coworkers, and clients or customers.

The workplace factors are interrelated and therefore influence one another — positive or negative changes in one factor are likely to change other factors in a similar manner. Visit the Guarding Minds at Work website to learn more about the thirteen psychosocial risk factors in the workplace.

Psychological support is present in a workplace environment where coworkers and supervisors are supportive of psychological and mental health concerns and respond appropriately as needed. Equally important is a commitment to promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing and providing meaningful supports, as well as awareness of resources.

Programs and Resources

Effective leadership and support helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organization, and whether there are impending changes, as well as provides effective communication.

Programs and Resources

The University of Calgary is committed to providing a workplace that respects and promotes human rights, personal dignity, and health and safety.

A respectful workplace is one that is healthy, safe, supportive, and values diversity. It is a place where employees are valued, communication is polite and courteous, people are treated with respect, conflict is addressed in a positive and respectful manner, and disrespectful behavior, harassment, bullying, and discrimination are not tolerated.

Programs and Resources

Psychological competencies and requirements ensures a good fit between employees’ interpersonal and emotional competencies and the requirements of the position.

Programs and Resources

The University of Calgary is committed to supporting the development of all employees and to creating opportunities for reflective learning that engages and benefits all members of our organization. The University of Calgary offers a variety of training and development options, all of which are designed to increase the performance of both the individual and the organization, and align with the university’s stated values and competencies.

Programs and Resources

The University of Calgary values and appreciates the dedication and commitment of its employees. As we strives to meet the Eyes High goal of becoming a top five Canadian research-intensive university, the university will depend on employee engagement, retention, and performance. Increased recognition of faculty and staff is a priority for the Executive Leadership Team and is connected to the Academic Plan and the Strategic Research Plan. The university’s Recognition Committee continues to focus on innovative ways to recognize employees.

Attracting and retaining a diverse group of qualified faculty and staff is fundamental to the success of the university's mission and mandate. The university's Total Rewards program is designed to support these attraction and retention goals, subject to the legal and fiscal constraints within which the university functions.

Programs and Resources

Workload management is where employees can successfully manage tasks and responsibilities, completing within the time available.

Programs and Resources

Engagement is when employees feel connected to their work and the organization and are motivated to do their job well.

The University of Calgary’s employee engagement survey serves as a benchmark and helps measure progress in engagement and enablement in our workplace. The survey is conducted every two years with all full-time employees. The President and members of the Senior Leadership Team communicate results of the survey across the university.

Through the development of collaborative action plans, each faculty and unit focuses on areas of low engagement and enablement for their respective areas and celebrates the success of positive engagement results. Employee involvement in the development of the action plans is key in addressing barriers and to building a positive and productive work environment.

Programs and Resources

Balance is the recognition of the need for employees to balance between the demands of work, family and personal life. The university offers a number of programs and services that promote healthy living, a healthy work environment and that respect the employee's life outside of work as well as their working life. The achievement of the WorldatWork Alliance for WorkLife Progress 2017 Seal of Distinction and Alberta’s Top Employers for 2017 demonstrate the university’s commitment to supporting employees’ in achieving a reasonable balance between work and personal life.

Programs and Resources

Protection of physical safety is understanding the appropriate action to protect the physical safety of employees. The University of Calgary has demonstrated its commitment to health and safety by achieving a COR (Certificate of Recognition) safety designation issued by the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour and the first post-secondary institution to earn certificate for entire organization.

Programs and Resources


For more information, contact

Campus Mental Health Strategy

Learn more

Excellence Canada

Learn more

National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Learn more

Guarding Minds at Work

Learn more