Healthy School Communities Certification

About this Initiative

The Healthy School Communities Certification (HSCC) is based on a 4-step process that guides schools in planning and implementing activities to address priority health topics in their school community. Certified Healthy School Communities have reported increases in student leadership and engagement, improved mental well-being, and an increase in knowledge about implementing the comprehensive school health framework.


How to Register:

If you are a retuning school (i.e., your school has participated in the HSCC initiative in the past, regardless of whether you were certified):

  1. Visit the OPHEA website and click “Log-in” if you have an existing account or, if you are a new Healthy Schools Lead at the school, click “Create Account”.
  2. Once you are logged in, select “Healthy School Certification” from the yellow navigation bar at the top.
  3. From the right hand column select “Register for HS Certification” (a blue button).
  4. Follow the promoted questions to complete registration.


Learn More:

HSCC is part of a pan-Canadian initiative that was developed and run in partnership with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA). This certification is guided by the internationally recognized comprehensive school health approach, which supports improvements in educational outcomes while addressing health in a planned, intentional, and holistic way. Schools have reported that HSCC promotes student leadership and engagement, builds upon existing school initiatives and supports and increases their capacity to address priority health needs.

The HSCC is guided by a 4-step process. These steps are:

  • Step 1: Assemble your team.
  • Step 2: Identify your school community priorities, assets, and health topic(s).
  • Step 3: Develop your plan and take action.
  • Step 4: Celebrate and reflect.



“Really positive conversations come out of it [the certification].  It’s not a ton of extra work and everyone benefits. The staff like it, the students love it, and the parents seemed to really be on board with it so I would highly recommend it” – Vancouver Educator

“It’s nice to work with an organization and people that are going to listen to feedback and give lots of support. Whenever I had questions, I knew I could reach out to you [DASH] and that you would be giving lots of good ideas and resources to us. Nothing but good things to say about the process” – Vancouver Educator

“You’re doing it for the school, you’re doing it for the students, you’re doing it for the community” – Burnaby Educator

Having the framework, having the resources… having DASH on our side definitely gave us energy and a goal to work towards” – Burnaby Educator

If you walk into a school that has a healthy setting, you can feel that when you walk through the doors. It feels welcoming” – Valemount Educator

“My favourite part [about the certification] was getting to connect with the students at the school. I found that having the team of students involved in the planning really made it easy for us to pick activities that the students would enjoy, things that were beneficial for them” – North Vancouver Educator