CSA Group Publishes National Standard on Safe Operating Practices and Infection Prevention and Control in Long-term Care Homes

Toronto, ON – December 1, 2022 – With difficult lessons learned from navigating through a global pandemic, the need to address the unique and longstanding challenges in Canada’s long-term care homes (LTCH) cannot be forgotten. Recognizing the important role of standards in helping to address challenges within Canada’s long-term care (LTC) sector, in May 2021, CSA Group and Health Standards Organization (HSO)were called upon by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to develop national standards for this sector. Following a 21-month standard development process, CSA Group has announced publication of CSA Z8004 Long-Term Care Home Operations and Infection Prevention and Control.

CSA Z8004 is intended to provide guidance on safe operating practices and effective infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices in LTCHs. Chaired by Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director & CEO, AGE-WELL, the Standard was developed by CSA Group’s Technical Subcommittee on Long-Term Care Homes and was shaped by the needs and voices of Canada’s long-term care residents, family members, caregivers, and workforce. The standard is divided into nine unique clauses, covering the following topics:

    Organizational commitments

    • This clause is meant to inform all other sections of the Standard and includes the following: person-centered care; relationship building within and outside the LTCH; equity, diversity, and inclusion; sexual expression and intimacy.


    • This clause covers topics such as resident activity, visitor policies, environmental services, nutrition and food policies and procedures, operational communications, transdisciplinary assessment team, contingency planning, waste management, antimicrobial stewardship, and medication management.

    Quality Improvement

    • This clause covers topics such as data collection, quality auditing and process improvement, IPAC auditing and risk management.

    Infection prevention and control (IPAC)

    • This clause incorporates topics such as IPAC program structure, procurement, cleaning and disinfection, considerations for resident belongings, laundry, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene, considerations for resident bedroom and washroom, and new and emerging technologies.


    • This clause covers facility wide functional requirements that include visitor washrooms, outdoor spaces, requirements for resident bedroom, resident washrooms, kitchen, servery, and dining area, laundry areas, facility wide technical requirements such as signage and wayfinding, materials and finishes, and furniture, fittings, and equipment.

    LTCH building systems

    • This clause covers requirements for various LTCH systems such as plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), medical gas systems, as well as electrical and electronic building systems. Security systems and access control are important requirements that help ensure the safety of residents.

    Information and technology

    • This clause covers requirements for LTCH design and implementation, network equipment, real-time locating systems, data systems, new and emerging technologies, and data management.

    Catastrophic event management

    • This clause covers requirements for risk assessment, and planning processes for internal catastrophic events (e.g., fire, flooding, loss of power) and external catastrophic events (e.g., airborne and organic contaminants, extreme temperature conditions, extreme weather events). This clause also provides guidance on outbreak, epidemic and pandemic management.

    Training and Simulation

    • This clause covers topics such as organizational commitments for staff training and education, sexual expression and intimacy, inclusive language, waste management training and operations, training on IPAC, IT systems, and catastrophic event management.

The intended end-users of CSA Z8004 include operational staff, infection prevention and control personnel, directors of care, architects, designers, engineers, governmental bodies, LTCH associations, residents, families and caregivers.

“COVID-19 highlighted the need for standards specifically tailored to long-term care homes,” says Kay Penn, Director, CSA Group Standards “In addition to providing guidance on how to implement safe and effective care in appropriately designed settings, CSA Z8004 focuses on recommendations to help ensure person-centered care.”

CSA Group is incredibly grateful for the commitment and hard work of the expert committees on Long-Term Care Homes who developed CSA Z8004, strengthened by the feedback of Canadians gathered during various consultations, surveys, and the public review process.”

CSA Group is having ongoing conversations with government decision makers, policy makers and various industry stakeholders to help ensure that they have the information and tools needed to utilize CSA Z8004, both voluntarily and potentially as incorporated by reference in regulations.

CSA Z8004 was developed in parallel to CAN/HSO 21001:2023 Long-Term Care Services, a national standard developed by Health Standards Organization which focuses on the delivery of safe, reliable, and high-quality long-term care services, including enabling resident-centred care, a healthy, safe, and competent workforce, and a quality improvement, outcome-focused organizational culture. The publication of CAN/HSO 21001:2023 Long Term Care Services will follow in early 2023. To help ensure that Canadians understand the complementary nature of the two standards, CSA Group and HSO will embark on joint communication efforts upon publication of HSO’s standard.In February 2023, CSA Group will host information sessions to raise awareness of the CSA Z8004 Standard and its impact on key audiences including frontline workers and operational staff; residents, families, and caregivers; and equity, diversity, and inclusion groups.

Beginning in February 2023, CSA Group will also offer online self-directed and instructor-led courses to inform stakeholder groups about the details of the standard. Information and registration information about each of the courses is available on the following webpages:

For more information about CSA Group’s work in long-term care, please visit the Standards for safer long-term care homes webpage.

Media may contact
CSA Group
Kimberly Gibson
[email protected]

About CSA Group
CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. We are a leader in North American standards development and in product testing, inspection and certification around the world. Our mandate is to hold the future to a higher standard.


December 1, 2022