CAN/HSO 1001:2019 Governance for Health Services Standard – Public Review

The public review of HSO’s revised Governance for Health Services Standard is taking place between January 15, 2020 and March 15, 2020.

Public reviews are an opportunity for anyone to review and comment on draft standards before they are published. HSO incorporates applicable feedback from public reviews into the final versions of standards.

Important note: The version of this standard currently out for public review will eventually be incorporated into Accreditation Canada’s assessment programs. If you are part of an assessment program, such as Qmentum, your accreditation body will provide you with an update, and copy of the standard, prior to the standard being incorporated into your program and used for surveys or assessment purposes.

Summary of changes

The updated CAN/HSO 1001:2019 Governance for Health Services standard includes a change to the title of the standard (formerly Governance) to provide more clarity on the scope. The updated standard will be applicable to health and social services organizations across the continuum of care and outlines the processes by which a governing body functions and its broad range of responsibilities.

As part of this revision, HSO’s people-centred care principles and language were implemented. The result is a standard that emphasizes the importance of the perspectives of clients and families who regularly use the organization’s services. The standard also emphasizes the need to regularly review and update policies and procedures related to the governing body’s mandate. Some other changes seen in this revision include the addition of information on the role of the governing body in the following areas, among others:

  • Selection of governing body members and chair, including ensuring diversity and minimizing conflict of interest
    Committees of the governing body
  • Policies and procedures around information management, data security, and privacy
  • Ensuring value for clients and families
  • Ensuring both client and staff safety, including psychological safety and cultural safety
  • Evidence-informed decision-making
  • Environmental sustainability

The following standardized auxiliary verbs were also added to the standard to provide clarity of interpretation for the criteria.

  • Shall/Shall not: is used to express a requirement; a provision the user is obliged to satisfy to comply with the standard.
  • Should/Should not: is used to express a strong recommendation that is expected to be followed unless there is a strong reason not to.
  • May/Need not: is used to express permissible provisions within the limits of this standard.

The revised standard is divided into the following subsections:

  • Developing Clear Direction for the Organization
  • Building an Effective Governing Body
  • Overseeing Organizational Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes
  • Being Accountable and Reflective

The standard does not contain any normative references.

The revision of this standard is being led by HSO’s Technical Committee TC002 – Leadership and Governance.

This standard will be undergoing periodic maintenance. HSO will review and publish this standard on a schedule not to exceed five years from the date of publication.

Tell us what you think

We are asking those who have an interest in this standard, such as people who have used related services, service providers or others that have expertise in this area, for their views on the proposed revised standard.

There is one main question in the public review document. We are not asking questions about every requirement or criteria, but we do welcome your comments on any or all aspects of the standard. When answering the questions, please keep in mind that the standard may apply globally. We may retain jurisdiction specific comments for local guidelines.

Our public review is open for 60 days. We would appreciate your feedback on the proposed changes. The public review is open until midnight on March 15, 2020.

The simplest way to respond is to follow the link at the bottom of this page, read a summary of the changes, and provide your feedback in the questionnaire that follows.

Draft StandardQuestionnaire

For more information, questions or concerns regarding the standards, please contact us at