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Introduction to health equity: Online course

Cette ressource est également disponible en français.

The NCCDH and Public Health Ontario have collaborated to create and release this jointly branded online course regarding health equity. Developed with the support of a pan-Canadian advisory group of public health practitioners and researchers, the course offers introductory material in self-directed and easily accessible online format.

Course objective

The objective of this project is to offer a free online introductory course to help public health staff and managers develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to support action on health equity.   

This online course consists of five online modules designed to:

  • provide foundational knowledge on health equity and the social determinants of health;
  • facilitate learner reflection;
  • illustrate health equity organizational capacity–building; and
  • provide examples of effective health equity action by public health. 

The five module topics are as follows:

  • Module 1: What are Health Inequities?    
  • Module 2: Pathways to Health Equity   
  • Module 3: Acting to Improve Health Equity 
  • Module 4: Reflections on World Views   
  • Module 5: Building Organizational Capacity for Equity Work 

Each bilingual module includes:

  • explanations of relevant terminology
  • video content explaining core concepts;
  • links to related resources; and
  • practical scenarios representing national and international evidence and perspectives.

Module content is also available as PDF for increased accessibility.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about the social and structural roots of health inequities and the role of public health to address these factors;
  • strengthen personal and professional development plans for performance appraisals and other organizational human resources processes; and
  • explore the pathways through which health inequities are created and persist among multi-sectoral partners in public health initiatives.


Related resources

Health equity learning pathway for public health middle managers (2020)

An environmental scan and assessment of online learning opportunities related to health equity and social determinants of health, for public health practitioners in Canada (2015)

Introduction to health impact assessment (HIA) of public policies — online course (2012)

Reducing gaps: Using area-based socio-economic measures to explore population health — online course (2012)

Equity action: Health equity tools for health system managers (Canada) — online course (2014)

Health promotion foundations (Canada) – online course (2014)

Achieving health equity for LGBT people (no date)

New directions in public health and community development online workshop series – online course (2013)


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health and Public Health Ontario. (2020). Introduction to Health Equity (online course). NCCDH, PHO: Antigonish, NS, and Toronto, ON.

Tags: Key concepts, Public Health Organization, Link, Online Course