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Guide to Using the ScoreCard

  1. How do I complete my CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard?
    1. Register your employer and your worksite by clicking the "Get Started" button in the Register section of the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC) log-in page. If an employer account has already been set up for your organization, the HSC employer administrator in your organization can give you an employer ID to use when you register your worksite. This ID number will ensure that your worksite is associated with the correct employer. (If you are an employer administrator, you can register all worksites for your employer yourself once you log in with your employer administrator log-in code.)
      • Answer the questions for all topics in the scorecard and select the option “Submit to CDC.” (Depending on how your employer profile is set up, you may have to select “Submit to Employer.” In this case, the employer administrator must review the scorecard before it can be submitted to CDC.)
        • Complete the demographic section by selecting the most accurate response or entering the appropriate numerical value. (All percentages must add to 100%.) Some questions in this section are optional. We recommend collecting this information because it can help you pick strategies to promote health in the workplace that are appropriate for the needs and interests of your workforce.
        • Answer “yes” or “no” for all other questions in the HSC. Use the Glossary to help you understand terms used in the questions. All answers should reflect the practices and programs that are currently in place at your worksite (i.e., ongoing activities, services) or that have occurred within the last 12 months (e.g., annual 12-week walking challenges).
        • The HSC has 17 worksite health topics. You can complete all topic sections at one time or do them separately, and you can do them in any order. The entire survey of questions will take about 30 minutes to complete. You may want to print a copy of the questions so you and your team members can become familiar with the content of each section ( ).
        • Review each section before you try to respond to find out what types of information you need. Answers to most questions are readily available from the following sources:
          • Organizational health policies (e.g., an employee policy handbook).
          • Communications materials (e.g., flyers, brochures, newsletter, signs).
          • Benefit plans.
          • Interviews with key stakeholders such as human resource managers or occupational health nurses.
          • Direct observation.

A more detailed list of these documents can be found in the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard Registration and Submission Checklist.

In some cases, the person assigned to complete the HSC may not know the answers to the questions. When that happens, the person should leave those questions unanswered, save their work, and then work with others at the worksite to get the information needed.

      • Some questions ask you to describe your health insurance plan. If your organization offers more than one option, base your responses on the plan with the highest enrollment.
      • Throughout the HSC survey, questions refer to “health promotion” at your worksite. This term can also be known as “worksite wellness” or “wellness programs.”
      • If your organization is a large organization with multiple worksites, you should consider completing a separate HSC for each worksite. Another option is to select one worksite that represents a large proportion of your workforce or will be the focus of your workplace health efforts. A worksite is a building, unique location, or business unit within an organization where work occurs. A worksite can include a campus of multiple buildings if all the buildings are in close proximity (walking distance) and defined as part of the organization. For example, a shipping company should consider a single retail store, distribution center, or corporate office park as separate worksites unless they are geographically adjacent. By completing a separate HSC for each worksite, you can identify different areas of strengths and opportunities for improvement across the worksites within your organization.
    1. Once you have submitted your worksite’s scorecard, a benchmark report is available for your worksite. Use this report to see scores by topic and to compare those scores to the average scores of other worksites.
  1. How is the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard scored?

The scoring system was developed to assess the relative impact of proven health promotion strategies. Each strategy used in the HSC was assigned a weighted score based on an expert panel’s assessment of each strategy’s evidence base and impact level. Each question on the HSC survey was assigned a point value from 1 to 3 (1 = good, 2 = better, 3 = best). This point value reflects the level of impact that the strategy has on the intended health behaviors or outcomes and the strength of scientific evidence supporting this impact. For example, materials such as brochures that are intended to build awareness (1 point) will have less of an impact on employee health than lifestyle counseling or self-management programs (3 points). For more information about the evidence and impact rating system used in the HSC, see The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard Scoring Methodology: Evidence and Impact Ratings and Supporting Citations at .

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  1. How are the points calculated?

Your completed HSC generates two scores—a total HSC score and individual scores for each of the 15 topics that are scored (Worksite Demographics and Community Resources are not scored). The total HSC score is calculated by adding the point values of all of the questions to which you responded YES. Individual topic scores are calculated by adding the point values of all of the questions to which you responded YES in a particular section (e.g., Organizational Supports). A higher score (for all scores combined or for an individual topic) indicates that you have more strategies in place, that you are using a higher percentage of high-impact strategies (i.e., those with a higher-weighted score), or both.

  1. What information is contained in the benchmark report?

A benchmarking report is generated when you submit your HSC. This report provides a score for each worksite for the year in which the scorecard was submitted (the current year). This score is benchmarked against each worksite’s score from the prior year and against scores from the prior year for other worksites for the same employer. It is also benchmarked against scores from the prior year for all worksites of the same size and all worksite scorecards submitted to CDC, regardless of employer size. The following information is displayed in the benchmarking report:

Topic — a category of questions in the HSC. Questions about public health strategies and interventions are grouped under specific topics (e.g., Nutrition, Physical Activities, Lactation Support).

Total Points Possible — represents the maximum number of points available when the scores for each question are added together for each individual topic; an overall total is also calculated by adding all individual topic scores together.

[Prior-Year] Score – represents the actual number of points for each topic when the scores for each question in that topic are added together; an overall total is also calculated by adding all individual topic scores together. These scores are for all individual worksites that submitted an HSC any time during the prior year.

[Current-Year] Score – represents the actual number of points for each topic when the scores for each question in that topic are added together; an overall total is also calculated by adding all individual topic scores together. These scores are for all individual worksites that submitted an HSC any time during the current year. A green arrow represents a higher score from the prior year. A red arrow represents a lower score from the prior year. If no arrow is shown, it means no change from the prior year.

All Worksites for [your organization] – represents the average score for each topic and for all topics combined for all worksites that submitted an HSC for your organization during the prior year.

[Size Category] Worksites ([#] employees) – represents the average score for each topic and for all topics combined for all worksites in the same size category that submitted an HSC any time during the prior year.

All Worksites – represents the average score for each topic and for all topics combined for all worksites, regardless of size, that submitted an HSC any time during the prior year.

  1. Why does the report compare current scores against prior year averages?

The HSC generates benchmarking data by comparing the scores for your worksite to the scores for other worksites in the HSC database. To allow the system to benchmark your scores against the maximum number of worksites possible, it uses HSC submissions from the prior year, rather than submissions from only a portion of the current calendar year.

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  1. What employer size categories are used for comparisons?

The HSC uses the following employer size definitions:

      • Very small (10–99 employees).
      • Small (100–249 employees).
      • Medium (250–749 employees).
      • Large (750 or more employees).
  1. How do I use the results of my CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard?

The HSC benchmarking report can be used as a planning tool. Your scores are intended to help you prioritize strategies as you set short-term and long-term goals for developing your worksite’s comprehensive health promotion program. Review your scores to identify potential gaps in your worksite’s program (i.e., topic areas where your organization currently has few strategies in place).

    1. Identify which strategies your worksite will use and set priorities.
      1. Identify the highest impact strategies not currently in place at your worksite.
      2. Use this information and your scores to select strategies to use in the future that are relevant, feasible, and consistent with your organization’s needs, your health promotion budget, and your employees’ needs and health issues.
      3. Identify which of your priority strategies are feasible for short-term or long-term success.
      4. Use this information to develop an annual worksite health improvement plan and budget.
    2. Each worksite’s benchmark report includes links to “Resources for Action” ( ) to help you with your strategic planning.
    3. Contact your state health department for technical assistance as needed to improve your worksite health promotion program. State health departments can be valuable resources for additional tools and resources, and they can provide technical guidance on program design, performance, and evaluation. Contact your local health department to see if they have additional local information. Other sources for information about your state program are and
    4. Complete the HSC again in a year to document and report progress. You may also want to evaluate how your HSC scores correlate with improvements in aggregated health risk scores among employees who were exposed to your strategies.
    5. Educate employees and managers about your organization’s worksite health promotion program by sharing your worksite’s HSC scores.

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  1. We’ve taken the initial survey, and our scores indicate that we’re doing better in some areas than others. Where do we start?

Your HSC can help you decide which steps to take next. First, determine the areas where your worksite scores could improve the most. Once you have identified one or more areas to focus on (e.g., tobacco control), review the point values assigned to each of the recommended strategies. Higher point values indicate that a strategy is both effective and strongly supported by scientific evidence. These are the strategies that are likely to yield the best results. In addition, you will need to consider whether a particular strategy is feasible for your organization and will address your employees’ health needs and interests. Consider costs, ease of implementation, and your organization’s needs. After evaluating the potential effectiveness and feasibility of each of the strategies, you will be in a better position to set priorities for what to do next.

  1. Where can I go for additional tools and resources?

The HSC provides several useful tools and resources organized by health issue or topic. To access a quick reference guide to these tools and resources, click “Resources for Action”. In addition, CDC has several Web sites focused on workplace health promotion and protection issues. These sites provide information, tools, resources, and guidance to employers interested in setting up or improving workplace health and safety programs. For more information, visit the following Web sites:

  1. We had a program 3 years ago, but have since discontinued it. Does that still count?

No. The HSC survey is designed to measure health promotion activities currently in place (i.e., a Web site) or activities that have occurred within the last 12 months (i.e., walking challenges).

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