Quality Criteria and Success Factors of Workplace Health Promotion

1st Initiative (1997 - 1999)

Quality criteria scheme

This project focused on developing criteria and recommendations for effective and quality workplace health promotion interventions.


To develop a set of criteria to provide an objective basis for the assessment of good practice in WHP
To identify, document and disseminate good practice across the Member States of the EU


The Luxembourg Declaration (rev.2018) established a common definition of Workplace Health Promotion and provided the basis on which the Network agreed and developed guidelines for effective workplace health promotion activities.

The quality criteria and success factors of workplace health promotion were developed from this by consensus over the course of this two-year project.

They are intended to provide assistance in the planning and implementation of successful, high-quality health promotion measures for all those who are responsible for health at the workplace.

The quality criteria developed are based on the model of the European Foundation for Quality Management

The criteria were divided into six areas, which taken together, produce a comprehensive picture of high quality workplace health promotion activities:

1. Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) & corporate policy

The success of WHP depends on it being perceived as a vital managerial responsibility and being integrated into existing management systems.

2. Human Resources & work organisation

There are a number of HR and work organisation features essential to promoting the health of staff.  These include supporting staff skills and career development; ensuring a good balance between work demands and the capacity to meet them; involving all employees as much as possible in planning and decision-making; supporting the retention of staff with health issues; and ensuring a healthy work-life balance.

3. Planning of workplace health promotion

Workplace health promotion is successful when it is based on a clear plan that is continuously reviewed, improved and communicated to all staff.

4. Social responsibility

A crucial factor for the success of workplace health promotion is whether and how the organisation fulfils its responsibility in dealing with its broad social and natural environment. Social responsibility includes the role of the organisation at local, regional, national and international level regarding its support for health-promoting initiatives.

5. Implementation of workplace health promotion

Workplace health promotion comprises measures for health-promoting job design and for the support of healthy behaviour. It is successful when these measures are permanently interlinked and systematically implemented.

6. Results of workplace health promotion

A range of short, medium and long-term indicators can be used to measure the success of workplace health promotion.

A questionnaire was drawn up on the basis of these quality criteria to enable organisations to easily self-assess the quality of their workplace health policy. 

The questionnaire has 27 questions in the six areas (each sector having a different number of questions).  Each question carries the same weighting.

Companies exhibiting good practice in WHP were identified, their experiences checked against the quality criteria and then documented.  Site visits using external experts were undertaken to validate the information that had been obtained.

The project concluded at the 1st Conference of the European Network: "Healthy Employees in Healthy Organisations - Workplace Health Promotion in Europe" which took place in Bonn in June 1999.

Main findings

Identifying Models of Good Practice was a very useful tool in obtaining information on existing practice in WHP and, with the help of the documentation, elaborating the Success Factors for and the Quality Criteria of WHP. These results together with the aims of the Luxembourg Declaration defined the future work of the Network, mainly developing recommendations and policies for the implementation of Workplace health promotion.

One of the most important outcomes of the project was the publication of the Models of Good Practice.  This guide provides clear insight into the processes followed by each of the organisations as they developed their workplace health promotion programmes.





Countries involved

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein/Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden.