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The resources and tools included here support boards committed to improving the safety and quality of their organizations’ services. They also help you achieve and maintain accreditation status through Accreditation Canada.

This toolkit will:

  • Help board members understand and integrate core governance functions related to quality and patient safety
  • Describe approaches for incorporating a focus on quality and patient safety
  • Identify and apply relevant and appropriate tools for creating and sustaining an effective board quality and patient safety plan
  • Explain how a culture of quality and patient safety can be led, supported, and sustained by the board

Created in 2009, this toolkit is based on the current state of knowledge and was updated in December 2010. The dynamic nature of healthcare and the increasing focus of research on leadership for quality and patient safety may result in future adaptations.

The terms “patient,” “client,” “resident,” “service user,” and “consumer” are used interchangeably in healthcare. Some terms may not be appropriate or preferred when referring to individuals who access healthcare services depending on the care setting or sector, or the geographic region of Canada. For clarity and consistency, the term “patient” is used throughout the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Toolkit.

This symbol denotes Canadian references and examples.

Where copyright permissions permit, contents of the toolkit have been made available. Additional video resources are also available for video streaming.

Take the program

To further support your organization, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation are offering the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Education Program. 

This world-class program provides board members and executives of healthcare organizations with a unique opportunity to learn about evidence-informed approaches to governance leadership for quality and patient safety. The program features highly interactive education sessions delivered by experienced healthcare board members.  To enquire about organizing a session in your region, please visit the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation website at