The University of Waterloo has achieved Gold certification in Excellence Canada's Excellence, Innovation and Wellness (EIW) program, which recognizes the University for its exceptional organizational and workplace practices. While other Canadian universities have achieved department certification, we are the first university to achieve certification across our entire institution.
The University’s achievement is a result of the collective effort of many employees, including 20 Advisory Committee members, 50 Working Group members, and over 2,000 others who participated in focus groups, information sessions, department-level certifications, and surveys since the initiative began.
The EIW program provides a framework for continuous improvement that emphasizes innovation and healthy workplace practices, with a focus on five key areas: leadership, planning, customers (service), people, and processes. Early in the initiative, working groups were formed for the five areas. These Working Groups identified Waterloo’s strengths and areas of opportunity and worked with individuals and groups across campus to close critical gaps. Nearing completion of the project, Working Groups prepared a written application documenting the University’s achievements and external reviewers conducted an onsite review to assess the University against the Standard.
“Certification under the EIW Standard has enabled us to build upon the strong traditions of quality and innovation we have at Waterloo,” says Marilyn Thompson, Associate Provost, Human Resources. “Our success demonstrates that we meet a very high-quality standard when it comes to our initiatives, practices, procedures, and governance.”
Tangible results have included the creation of a Healthy Workplace Statement endorsed by the President, coordination of an annual “Keeping Well at Work Day” conference, development of a university-wide Service Promise, and development of a robust framework for continuous improvement at Waterloo.