The HIROC Just Culture and Patient Safety Culture Award



This award was established in 2019 with the generous support of the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), the insurer for Ontario midwives. It recognizes the important contributions made by Indigenous, Black and racialized members to all aspects of midwifery care, and specifically to the promotion of “just culture” and “patient safety culture”. Just culture and patient safety culture are terms that refer to the culture of health-care organizations that support teamwork and the delivery of safe care, including anti-racist service provision which is essential to safe care. Recognizing the contributions of members who are Indigenous, Black, and persons of colour (IBPOC), particularly as they relate to providing a high standard of safe, quality care is vital as part of the Association of Ontario Midwives’ (AOM) commitment to Indigenous sovereignty and racial justice.

Here are some additional resources about “Just Culture”:

Here are some additional resources about “Patient Safety Culture”:


$5,000 to be divided amongst up to three students of the Midwifery Education Program.


To be eligible, the applicant must:

  • Be a student with lived experience as an Indigenous, Black or racialized person, and have financial need.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student in the Midwifery Education Program.
  • Have clear Academic Standing with no disciplinary notices on file.
  • Be a Canadian citizen, or a landed immigrant, or a protected person; and a resident of Ontario.
  • Have completed at least one placement in the Midwifery Education Program.

  • Have not received a HIROC Just Culture and Patient Safety Culture Award previously.

Nomination Criteria:

The following criteria will be assessed, and marks will be given based on the quality of the submission. Each nomination will be scored out of 100:

  1. The student must submit proof of academic eligibility.

  1. A completed reference form for the student’s application from a member of the midwifery community (could be a student or a midwife). Be sure to provide the person completing the form with all relevant information to provide strong support.

The form will include a description of a time when the student displayed an understanding of and contribution to just culture and patient safety culture. (25 marks)  

Reference forms cannot be completed by AOM Staff, Board, Quality, Insurance, and Risk Management (QIRM) Committee members or any individual assessing applications.

The student must also include a reflective essay of no more than 500 words on just culture or patient safety culture, which may include reflections on how teamwork, communication, collaboration, and midwife well-being may support safe health care.

 The essay will be scored as follows:

  1. Understanding of just culture or patient safety culture. (25 marks)

  1. Personal reflection on just culture or patient safety culture. (25 marks)

  1. Description of self as contributor to just culture or patient safety culture. (25 marks)

Nomination Selection:

Completed nominations will be reviewed by the Quality, Insurance and Risk Management Committee and representatives of the Racial Equity Committee who will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors for up to three award recipients. The Board will make the final decision about award recipients. 

This award will be granted in the autumn every year. 

The deadline for applications is October 27, 2023.

Click for Application Package