OTTAWA – Health Standards Organization (HSO) is proud to launch the 60-day Public Review for the new draft National Long-Term Care Services standard. We are also pleased to release the What We Heard Report #2: Findings from the National LTC Services Standard Consultation Workbooks and Town Halls.

The public review process is an opportunity for anyone to review and provide feedback on the draft standard before it is finalized and published. Members of the public are invited to provide feedback on the draft standard from January 27th to March 27th. Review the draft standard and share your feedback with us here.

The draft standard was developed by HSO’s LTC Services Standard Technical Committee and informed by the 16,093 responses to our National Inaugural Survey summarized in our What We Heard Report #1, as well as the input of an additional 1,984 participants in subsequent consultation and engagement activities summarized in our What We Heard Report #2. Reflecting extensive research, the clinical and technical expertise and lived experience of committee members, and engagement with and input from over 18,000 Canadians, the draft standard proposes to lay the foundation for the future of long-term care in Canada.

“When asked what the future of long-term care should look and feel like, Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast said that high-quality care is the outcome of providing safe, reliable and compassionate care,” says Dr. Samir Sinha, Chair of HSO’s LTC Services Standard Technical Committee. “Transformation and reform will require meaningfully addressing the stigmas associated with long-term care, building collaborative networks between all care sectors, and meaningfully implementing the new National LTC Services standard with appropriate funding and oversight for this sector, once it is finalized.”

The draft standard covers ten areas related to the provision of long-term care:

  1. Governing LTC Home’s Strategies, Activities, and Outcomes
  2. Promoting Resident-Centred Care with a Compassionate Team-Based Approach
  3. Providing a Welcoming and Safe Home-Like Environment
  4. Respecting Residents’ Rights
  5. Enabling a Meaningful Quality of Life for Residents
  6. Delivering High-Quality of Care Based on the Life Experiences, Needs, and Preferences of Residents
  7. Enabling the Delivery of High-Quality of Care through Safe and Effective Organizational Practices
  8. Coordinating Care and Integrated Services
  9. Enabling a Healthy and Competent Workforce
  10. Promoting Quality Improvement

“As Canada considers the future of long-term care, it will require striking a careful balance that acknowledges the dualities of long-term care homes and effectively meets the needs of both residents and workers,” says Kaye Phillips, Executive Director, Global Programs at HSO.

Building on the findings from the Inaugural Survey, HSO’s LTC Services Standard Technical Committee sought further input to inform their work by inviting people to participate in the development of the standard through completing Consultation Workbooks and participating in Town Halls in fall 2021. These additional perspectives, needs, and ideas are summarized in the newly released What We Heard Report #2: Findings from the National LTC Services Standard Consultation Workbooks and Town Halls.

Compiled by the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), this new report, which completes Phase Two of our engagement, summarizes the comments and feedback from more than 1,984 Canadians to inform the future provision of long-term care in Canada. The report finds that high-quality care is the outcome of providing safe, reliable, and compassionate care, however key contributing factors to high-quality care differ depending on how an individual relates to LTC.

For residents, key factors to high-quality care include an acknowledgment that a long-term care home is a resident’s home, and that a resident is able to receive individualized care and support when needed. Long-term care homes must be “a place where residents are made to feel like people and not just tasks to be completed,” says an HSO LTC Standard Engagement Participant.

What is important for families of residents is that there are open channels of communication, public reporting by LTC homes and that their loved one is safe. For members of the LTC workforce, key factors to being able to provide high-quality care include feeling valued and supported, as well as having the necessary amount of time to provide safe, reliable, and compassionate care.

In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to receiving the public’s feedback on HSO’s draft standard to ensure it meets the needs and priorities of Canadians and their loved ones today and for generations to come.

The development of HSO’s National Long-Term Care Services Standard has been supported by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). The SCC, HSO, and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) have been aligning to develop two new national standards for LTC that are being shaped by the needs and voices of Canada’s LTC home residents, workforce, local communities, as well as members of the public.

CSA Group will be launching the public review of their respective National Standard of Canada for Operation and Infection Prevention and Control of Long-Term Care Homes (CSA Z8004) in early February 2022. When their public review is launched, the draft standard will be available here:

HSO and CSA Group will be hosting a joint webinar on February 17th from 12:00-1:00 pm ET to discuss their draft LTC standards and respective Public Reviews. To register, see:


  • Health Standards Organization (HSO) is a global organization focused on developing world-class, evidence-based standards, assessment programs and quality improvement solutions. HSO is the only Standards Development Organization (SDO) solely dedicated to health and social services. Affiliated with Accreditation Canada (AC), HSO standards form the basis of AC’s accreditation programs and are used in over 15,000 locations and 38 countries.
  • As an accredited SDO, HSO follows a rigorous development process set forth by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
  • The new LTC Services standard will be a National Standard of Canada and will be used as part of future long-term care accreditation programs across Canada. Only SDOs that are accredited by SCC can issue National Standards of Canada.
  • Standards, and conformity to those standards, will help ensure that Canada’s long-term care home settings are safe, properly supported and that the more than 250,000 residents who call them home are also receiving the quality of care they need and deserve.
  • HSO is revising the current Long-Term Care Services standard (last updated in 2020) to bring the voice of residents, families, and the LTC workforce to the forefront of developing safe, reliable, and high-quality care practices.

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