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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 31 million health professionals worldwide, assembling essential knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

Positive Practice Environments

Positive practice environments (PPE) are cost-effective health care settings that support excellence and decent work, have the power to attract and retain staff and to improve patient satisfaction, safety and outcomes. Characteristically such settings:

  1. ensure the health, safety and well-being of staff;
  2. support quality patient care;
  3. improve the motivation, productivity and performance of individuals and organisations.

WHPA urges all health sector actors – health care professionals, managers, patients, policy makers, and community leaders – to join in commitment and action to create quality workplaces for quality care. Individuals can make a difference locally and together create positive change for regional and international policy and practices.


How you can contribute

  1. Take a look at the health care work environment. Using the PPE checklist, understand the strengths and weaknesses of the workplace, its organizational climate and work environment.
  1. Make the case for healthy, supportive work environments, through evidence of their positive impact on staff recruitment/retention, patient outcomes and health sector performance. Present it, publish it and talk about it to everyone.
  1. Provide more evidence on PPEs. Consider a catalogue of good practices in human resources management, occupational health and safety, professional development, etc.
  1. Drive a sustained trend in establishing and applying the principles of positive practice environments across your health facility and national health sector, establishing positive models and introducing supportive policies.
  1. Join with others, raising awareness and building alliances to make a change, make a difference.
  1. Celebrate success in support of effective strategies that promote sustainable health systems.
  1. Sign on to the checklist for a positive practice environment in your setting, community, country.


Checklist for a positive practice environment


Professional Recognition

  • Recognise health care professional competencies
  • Promote professional autonomy and control
  • Reward contribution & performance
  • Measure employee satisfaction and act on outcomes.


Management Practices

  • Commit to equal opportunity & fair treatment
  • Provide adequate and timely compensation
  • Maintain effective performance management systems
  • Offer decent and flexible benefit packages
  • Involve employees in planning and decision making
  • Encourage open communication and team work
  • Foster a culture of mutual trust, fairness and respect
  • Adopt policies to positively encourage reporting of professional misconduct
  • Provide clear, comprehensive job descriptions
  • Ensure effective grievance procedures are in place


Support structures

  • Invest sufficiently in health and work environments
  • Foster strong employment relationships
  • Apply regulatory frameworks for safe workplaces
  • Provide adequate equipment, supplies & support staff
  • Engage employees in continuous assessment
  • Promote healthy work-life balance
  • Offer employment security and work predictability
  • Ensure practice under an overarching code of ethics
  • Communicate and uphold standards of practice
  • Review scopes of practice and competencies



  • Support opportunities for professional development
  • Offer thorough orientation programmes
  • Foster effective supervisory/mentoring/coaching
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Adhere to safe staffing levels
  • Adopt occupational safety and wellness policies


Download the Campaign Toolkit