Infection Prevention and Control Recognition Program

Protect your clients, staff and community by preventing, reducing and controlling the spread of infections

Regardless of where we are — local pharmacy, doctor’s office, massage therapist’s office, or with a loved one in a long‐term care home, we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe.

In COVID‐19 times and beyond, commit to keeping your community safe with a program that supports your staff, your clients and your communities to improve and sustain a trustworthy infection prevention and control environment.

Available to Canadian organizations only.

What is Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)?

It refers to evidence‐based practices and procedures that can prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms to clients, visitors and service providers.


Download the IPC Recognition Program Brochure

Program Benefits

Build capacity

Flexible Application

Adaptable and scalable to meet the needs of health and social service organizations of all sizes and service types. 

Virtual Access

Assessment tools and other program materials are available on a user-friendly digital platform.

Canadian Content

The content was developed with the help of Canadian experts, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Infection Prevention and Control Canada using HSO standards. This program is now being offered by Accreditation Canada, a not‑for‑profit
accrediting body.

icon continuous improvement

Continuous Quality Improvement

It’s all about learning and improving, regardless of your current situation or expertise. The program was created to support organizations like yours to build these organizational IPC competencies over time by applying and implementing evidence-informed guidelines through ongoing learning concepts.

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Service Differentiation

Provides recognition in IPC practices from an international, non-for-profit accrediting body, cumulating over 60 years of quality and safety experience across healthcare and social services. highlighting its dedication to safety towards its clients, workforce and the general population.

Symbol of trust

Clients receiving health and social services require transparency on how you commit to continuous quality improvement beyond the COVID era. Your organization can promote your participation in the program and IPC Recognition awards to highlight your commitment to continuous improvement on IPC practices and providing safe, reliable and quality care.

Discover the Program

This program focuses on infection prevention and control competencies and includes actional criteria and guidelines derived from HSO’s evidence-based standards and supplementary resources. The program is organized into five levels:

Program levels

Level 1

Participating organizations begin at Competency Level 1, where they use the program’s Assessment Tool to self-assess, every year their ability to meet program requirements and then use the results to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Once the self-assessment has been completed, the organization obtains a Certificate of Participation in the program.

Level 2

Organizations that have met the requirements for Competency Level 1 and wish to upgrade to Competency Level 2 will have to complete additional yearly activities in addition to the self-assessment. They will develop a Continuous Quality Improvement Action Plan outlining how they will achieve their organizational goal by PCI matters. The organization is then subject to an on-site peer review. Organizations that qualify under the program receive the “PCI Foundation” award.

Level 2 will be available in fall 2021. Visit this page regularly to be on the lookout for program updates.

Levels 3, 4, and 5 

Competency Levels 3 (Committed), 4 (Improved), and 5 (Sustained) are the quality improvement levels of the program.  These levels include activities to help organizations and their teams build and sustain quality improvement capacities that enable safe practices and the best quality of care. 

Further information pertaining to Competency Levels 3, 4 and 5, and how they will help support organizations along their quality improvement journey through the IPC Recognition Program, will be available at a later date. 

The IPC Recognition Program is an invaluable framework to support organizations striving for continuous improvement in their infection prevention and control practice. Clients of participating organizations can feel confident they are receiving care from providers who value their health and safety and are committed to providing quality healthcare services.

IPAC Canada


We need a program like this, one that supports long-term commitment. Every life is important and, regardless of where we are — at the dentist office, in the emergency department, with a loved one in a long-term care home, or with our physiotherapist, we all have a role to play in keeping one another safe.”

Heather Thiessen, Patient Partner Lead, HSO

Get started today!


1. Who can join the IPC Recognition Program?
The IPC Recognition Program is applicable to organizations of any size that provide health and social services in one or multiple settings. These organizations may be publicly or privately run and may be either for-profit or not-for-profit.

2. We are a large organization with multiple sites. How will the IPC Recognition Program work for us?
If your organization has multiple sites or programs offered (i.e., service offered), each site and specific programs will enroll in the IPC Recognition Program separately. (Ex: One program per site can enroll).

3. Does my organization need to be accredited to participate in the IPC Recognition Program?
Your organization does not need to be accredited by Accreditation Canada to participate in the IPC Recognition Program. However, the IPC Recognition Program can also be used by an organization and their sites that are participants in Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum® accreditation program, as the Qmentum® and IPC Recognition programs are complementary to each other.

4. How does the IPC Recognition Program compare to Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum® accreditation program?
The IPC Recognition Program takes a deeper and more focused dive into a single and prioritized organizational competency, compared to the Qmentum® accreditation program which assesses the organization against a broad range of requirements. With a focus on a specific organizational competency, the IPC Recognition Program supports and awards health and social service organizations that are committed to building, implementing, and sustaining their IPC competencies.

5. Does my organization require existing IPC experience or an IPC Program to participate in the IPC Recognition Program?
Your organization does not require IPC experience or a formal IPC Program to participate in the IPC Recognition Program. An organization participating in the IPC Recognition Program will be able to use the program tools to develop their IPC competency, and more specifically, an IPC Program. Developing an IPC Program is a requirement to achieve the IPC Foundations Award in Competency Level 2.

6. Why isn’t there a program award for Competency Level 1?
For Competency Level 1, a certificate of participation is provided to each site that completes their self-assessment. The main goal of Competency Level 1 is to self-reflect and evaluate your current state and identify areas for improvement through completing a self-assessment. Competency Level 1 prepares your site for Competency Level 2 activities (e.g., developing Quality Improvement Practice Plan and the peer review assessment).

7. Is there a time limit for remaining at Competency Level 1?
No, there is no time limit for staying at the same Competency Level. For Competency Level 1, at a minimum, a self-assessment is required annually to maintain the Competency Level, including the payment of the yearly program subscription fee.

8. My organization has well-developed IPC practices. Is it possible to skip Competency Level 1 and start the IPC Recognition Program at Competency Level 2?
No, the starting point for the IPC Recognition Program for any participating organization is Competency Level 1. Once an organization has completed and met the Competency Level 1 requirements, they may elect to progress to future Competency Levels as they become available.

9. When will Competency Level 2 of the IPC Recognition Program be available?
Competency Level 2 will be available in Fall 2021. An announcement on the release of Competency Level 2 will be posted on the website and communicated in the next few months. Please register here to be added to our mailing list for future updates.

10. Does Accreditation Canada decide when our organization is ready to progress to the next competency level?
No. The decision on progressing to the next Competency Level is made by your organization once the Competency Level requirements are successfully completed. You may elect to stay at your current Competency Level or progress to the next one.

11. How long do we have to wait before our organization can progress from Competency Level 1 to Competency Level 2?
The organization must complete the Competency Level 1 requirement prior to deciding if they wish to register and strive for Competency Level 2 of the IPC Recognition Program. Competency Level 1 has been released first to help organizations begin their journey to improve their IPC organizational competency as soon as possible.

12. What happens if our organization is not successful in achieving the requirements for Competency Level 2 of the IPC Recognition Program?
The objective of this program is to learn and improve. If the Competency Level 2 requirements are not met to achieve the IPC Foundations Award, the organization may decide whether they want to repeat the peer review assessment after a minimum of 6 months, or whether they will remain at Competency Level 1.

13. Is the IPC Foundations Award given at the site level or organization level?
If an organization has multiple sites and/or programs, the Competency Level 2 Award, “IPC Foundations”, will be given to each site/program (i.e., at one program level for each site) that has met the requirements for Competency Level 2.

14. What are the quality indicator requirements?
Quality indicator identification will begin in Competency Level 2 through your development of the Quality Improvement Practice Plan (QIPP) for your site/program. However, quality indicator data collection will not be monitored until Competency Levels 3-5. Further information on the collection and reporting of quality indicator data will be provided in future program releases.

15. Our organization already has a quality improvement plan. Can we submit it instead of the IPC Program Quality Improvement Practice Plan (QIPP)?
No. An organization participating in the IPC Recognition Program will need to develop a QIPP in Competency Level 2, based on the results of the self-assessment activity. To ensure consistency of the collected information and to reduce the development time, a QIPP template is provided.

16. Our organization has multiple sites. Should we complete the self-assessment and develop our Quality Improvement Practice Plan at the site level or at organization level?
The self-assessment and Quality Improvement Practice Plan (QIPP) should be completed and developed at the site level. However, it is encouraged that organizations with multiple sites consider looking at all site level QIPP and self-assessment results to identify any relevant organization-wide initiatives.

17. Will the self-assessment results be reviewed by Accreditation Canada?
No, Accreditation Canada will not review your organization’s self-assessment results. A self-assessment is your organization’s internal tool to guide you through your quality improvement progress over time and to help you to develop your Quality Improvement Practice Plan (QIPP).