Award Criteria

Last reviewed on 27/03/2013 14:03

The Healthy Working Lives Award Programme is an outcomes focused approach to support employers and employees to achieve these benefits in the organisation in a practical, logical and beneficial way.

Having registered, organisations can begin working up through the three levels of Award, from Bronze and Silver, and on to Gold.

Find out what's required for each Award in this section.

Quick links:

HWL Organisation Profile

Organisations about to embark on the Award journey must complete the HWL Organisation Profile. This gives a snapshot of your organisation at a specific point in time and can be used as a benchmark to measure improvement.

Completing this Profile will help identify the key issues that need to be addressed and provide an objective picture of your current status. The findings will be used to develop a tailored action plan and inform future consultation with your employees. This will also help you mark progress and measure the impact as you work through the Award Programme.

This must be completed and submitted as part of your Award Portfolio. Your Adviser will help you complete this.

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Award checklist

As part of the Award Programme, it is important that you are addressing minimum health and safety requirements.

Applicants are therefore asked to complete and submit, a signed 10-point Health and Safety checklist as part of your Award Portfolio.

Our free and confidential Adviceline – 0800 019 2211 – or your Healthy Working Lives Adviser can support you to meet this requirement.


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Bronze Award

In achieving the Bronze Award you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Everyone in your organisation is aware of how their health, safety and wellbeing
    affects their work.
  • Everyone understands the role of health and safety and health improvement and
    how they can be supported at work.
  • Your organisation ensures that the work undertaken by its employees does not
    adversely affect their health and indeed understands how work can protect and
    improve their mental, physical and social health.
  • As a result of consultation and engagement with employees, your organisation is
    aware of and is addressing health, safety and wellbeing issues at work.


Your organisation must meet all of the following criteria:

1 Address Healthy Working Lives in the organisation and ensure employees are given key roles and responsibilities within the workforce for taking forward the Healthy Working Lives agenda.

2 Address health, safety and wellbeing needs in the organisation which includes employee consultation and training, supporting employee attendance and avoiding accidents in the organisation.

3 Promote and raise awareness of occupational health, safety and wellbeing topics that have been identified by employees and managers/employers.

4 Implement a smoking policy for employees over and above the legislative re-quirements, i.e. participating in campaigns that encourage employees to quit as well as providing information on smoking cessation advice and services.

View more information on the Bronze Award Criteria.


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Silver Award

In achieving the Silver Award you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Your organisation has policies, procedures and practices that allow everyone to engage in protecting and improving their health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Your organisation can begin to demonstrate:

1 employee absence and turnover fall – they feel better supported in getting back to work

2 health and safety standards getting better – the number of accidents and near misses coming down

3 managers beginning to identify issues and prevent sickness absences occurring –they are confident in tackling stress and anxiety at work

4 tackling issues and concerns that have been brought to light through the employee engagement and consultation.


Once you're maintaining Bronze Award.level criteria, you can progress to a Silver Award.


Your organisation must meet all of the following criteria:

1 Implement written policy/policies on alcohol and drugs which give employees clear guidance around the use of or under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the workplace.

2 Develop and implement documented policies/procedures on attendance management and integrate into existing policies.

3 Develop and implement documented policies/procedures on avoiding accidents, incidents and near misses in the organisation and integrate into existing policies.

4 Promote the benefits of a balanced diet and facilitate/enable opportunities for employees to eat more healthily.

5 Promote the benefits of physical activity and promote and/or provide opportunities to encourage employees to be/become physically active within and outwith work.

6 Provide managers and supervisors with training to increase their knowledge and understanding of mental health, wellbeingand stress in the workplace. Ensure managers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to employee support.

View more information on the Silver Award Criteria.


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Gold Award

In achieving the Gold Award you will be able to demonstrate your organisation’s ongoing commitment to improving the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees and a health, safety and wellbeing culture with evidence of positive employee behaviour changes.

After maintaining the Bronze and Silver Award level criteria you can progress to a Gold Award. The Gold Award Programme has three core criteria. You must also choose one from a bank of optional criteria when you begin to work towards Gold and for each year that you maintain the Award. The Gold is primarily a forward planning award, initially covering the next three years and then on a rolling basis. However, it is important to evidence that plans for criteria 1–4 are in place in order to gain the award.


1 Prepare a three-year health, safety and wellbeing strategy and three-year rolling action plan.

2 Benchmarking – evaluate your organisation’s progress and performance. As part of your work in developing your Bronze and Silver portfolios, you will have already begun the benchmarking process.

3 Health inequalities – be aware of and address health inequalities in your organisation.

4 Choose one criterion from the bank of criteria below:

  • 4a Stress risk assessment- conduct a stress risk assessment/ audit and develop an action plan.
  • 4b Promote community health, safety and wellbeing – this criterion is designed to encourage workplaces to reinforce and strengthen community health, safety and wellbeing.
  • 4c Lifestyle checks – provide all employees with the opportunity to have a lifestyle check that includes a review of lifestyle behaviour and health advice.
  • 4d Health and the environment – undertake a practical initiative that would be beneficial to the environment.
  • 4e Equality and diversity – develop and implement written policy/procedures on equality and diversity which give employees clear guidance in the organisation.
  • 4f Mentoring – support one organisation in our supply chain or partner network in their award activity or to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of their workforce.
  • 4g Organisation led criterion – develop and implement a health, safety and wellbeing activity, opportunity or programme of your choice which is essential and appropriate to your organisation.


View more information on the Gold Award Criteria.

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