Centre for Organizational Health and Development
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Welcome to the Centre for Organizational Health and Development

The centre is an internationally renowned specialized research centre in occupational health in the University of Nottingham, and only one of three World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating centres in occupational health in the UK.

--Stavroula Leka,
Centre Director


A World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in occupational health since 1992


Research Focus

Centre expertise lies in occupational health and occupational psychology specialising in the promotion of organizational health and development. Within the Centre, the WHO programme of work focuses on occupational health and safety and business sustainability.

Click here to see our main themes in the centre’s work for WHO

  • work organization and the management of the psychosocial work environment for business and societal sustainability
  • developing healthy and sustainable workplaces through responsible business practices
  • the prevention of work-related stress and promotion of mental health in the workplace
  • policy-level interventions in occupational health and safety 

COHD supports WHO in the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Workers’ Health across WHO regions. 

The Centre’s programme of work for WHO forms only part of its activities. Several additional research programmes are managed through the Centre.

What are we doing about...

1. Managing psychosocial risks and preventing work-related stress?

This is a key research area in the Centre that has been funded by different bodies at national, European and international level as well as by several organisations. We have conducted several studies in this area, focusing on the development of policies and organisational practices for the prevention of work-related stress and the management of psychosocial risks. We have been leading the work of the WHO network of collaborating centres in occupational health in this area since 2001.

2. Providing policy recommendations on the promotion of mental health in the workplace?

Several of our research programmes are policy-oriented. We work with international organisations such as WHO, ILO and institutions such as the European Commission, trade unions and employer associations to develop guidance and standards on the management of mental health in the workplace. Some examples can be found in the Outcomes links on this page.

3. Promoting business and societal sustainability?

We work closely with colleagues in Nottingham University Business School in the area of business sustainability through responsible business practices in promoting health and well-being (establishing their link with innovation, productivity and quality). 

We are also collaborating with colleagues in the WHO network in occupational health, the University of Ghana and the University of Dar Es Salaam to showcase how occupational health and safety can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the new Sustainable Development Goals. We have initiated a collaborative programme with Nottingham University Business School, the School of Sociology & Social Policy and the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, funded by the University’s Integrating Global Society Initiative, to integrate psychosocial risks in strategic business management and policy making with a view to promoting sustainability and reducing inequalities.


WHO Guidance and Reviews


Other key publications


Current Projects

WHO Programme of work

Our current work plan for WHO focuses on the priority of developing healthy workplaces. There are three main projects we are co-ordinating:

  • the development of an audit tool for healthy workplaces to be used at organisational level 
  • continued work on our PRIMA-EF project including the development of a toolkit for psychosocial risk management in the workplace and further development of training in this area
  • the development of guidance in the area of enterprise-community involvement (responsible business practices) for use by small enterprises.
For the above projects we are collaborating with a number of institutions including, among others, the University of South Australia, La Trobe University, the German Federal Institution for Occupational Safety & Health (BAuA), the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (USA) and the Brazilian Social Security Association for Industry (SESI).

PRIMA-EF (Psychosocial Risk Management – Excellence Framework)

This is a policy oriented research programme:

  • supported by the PRIMA-EF consortium involving several European and international partners
  • funded through national bodies and the European Commission since 2004
  • focused on the development of an excellence framework for the management of psychosocial risks and work-related stress in the workplace 

Outputs include:

  • guidance by the WHO
  • the first guidance standard for the management of psychosocial risks in the workplace for the British Standards Institution (PAS1010
  • an e-learning training platform in the area of psychosocial risk management (PRIMAeT)

The changing landscape of occupational safety and health regulation in the UK

This research programme examines the changing landscape of occupational health and safety regulation in the UK in comparison to other countries. The programme:

  • is funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) 
  • involves numerous stakeholders in health and safety in the UK 
  • addresses the needs of SMEs and the role of health and safety professionals in the changing occupational safety and health landscape
The second phase in this area of work will focus on the legitimacy of occupational health and safety in the UK and we will be collaborating with the University of Reading.

Mental health in the workplace

This project is funded by the European Commission and aims at the provision of policy recommendations in the area of mental health in the workplace. The project is collaborative with PREVENT (Belgium), Work Research Centre (Ireland), TNO Work & Employment (the Netherlands) and the London School of Economics (UK). Key aspects of the programme include:

  • a review of hard and soft law approaches to the management of mental health in the workplace across Europe and analysis of selected case studies
  • a consultation with stakeholders (social partners and experts) in different European counties
  • the development and socioeconomic analysis of different policy scenario options
  • the development of guidance for the European Commission

Additional programmes

There are several additional programmes associated with the Centre, including:

  • hosting both the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
  • supporting the Springer book series Aligning Perspectives in Health, Safety & Well-being 
  • recognised as an approved collaborating centre of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living & Working Conditions in Dublin
  • supporting activities of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) scientific committee on Work Organisation & Psychosocial Factors





Centre for Organizational Health and Development

The University of Nottingham
School of Medicine

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6662