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Becoming a Safe Community

Becoming a Safe Community

Every community has its own unique personality, its own rhythm and vibrancy, its own unique challenges. The injury patterns and problems are also unique to each community. However, by determining which ones most impact your community, and designing injury prevention programs to address them, you can make a difference.

Your community may already have individuals, groups, and organizations who have committed their time and resources to make your community safer. Working together, in partnership, communities can reduce disabling injuries and save lives. It all starts with a commitment to making safety a priority for your community. Let Safe Communities America help you become a Safe Community.

Becoming a safe community is a collaborative and inclusive process, but each community decides their approach. We are happy to help throughout your application process, so please email us at with any questions.  We can even get you in touch with one of our 23 designated Safe Communities to provide additional support.
Designation Process
The application process can take anywhere from 9-12 months to complete. Communities may need to build or enhance coalitions around injury prevention and safety promotion.
There are TWO designations available:
  • National Designation - administered by Safe Communities America.
  • International Designation - administered by the WHO Collaborating Center for Community Safety Promotion.

For more information, review the National and International Application Process.

Four Steps for National or International designation:
  1. Submit a Letter of Intent with the application fee.
  2. Submit your application document(s).
  3. A site visit by national or international certifiers (depending on type of designation).
  4. A ceremony celebrating your official designation.
Safe Communities Designation Requirements
The Safe Communities designation is awarded to communities that have demonstrated leadership in promoting safety, reducing injuries, and preparing their citizens for natural and man-made disasters.
National Designation requirements

Communities seeking National designation must meet the following four Areas of Competency, established by the National Safety Council:
  1. Sustained collaboration.
  2. Understanding of their community data.
  3. Offering of programs that address the intentional and unintentional injury patterns in their community.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of evaluation.
International Designation requirements

Communities seeking international designation must meet the following seven Indicators established by the WHO Collaborating Center on Community Safety Promotion and the Safe Communities program:
  1. Demonstrate leadership based on partnership and collaborations with all community sectors that are responsible for safety promotion in their community.
  2. Long-term, sustainable programs covering both genders and all ages, environments, situations, and includes preparing their citizens for emergencies and disasters.
  3. Programs that target high-risk groups and environments and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups.
  4. Programs that are based on the available evidence.
  5. Collect data on number and causes of injuries.
  6. Evaluate their programs, processes and the effects of change.
  7. Participate in national and international Safe Communities networks.

Step 1: Letter of Intent

The application and certifying process are based on three documents: the letter of intent, the application and the internet application (only for international designation).
Letter of Intent

First, send your Letter of Intent with the application fee. The application fee will vary depending on which designation your community is applying for – national or international. The letter must be signed by the Mayor (or similar function) and contain the following information:  
  • Name of community.
  • Contact persons (name, title, address, email, phone number).
  • Address of lead organization.
  • Organization number/ tax number

The letter should be sent at least 6 months before the planned designation.

​National Designation Applicants
International designation applicants
Mail the Letter of Intent to:
National Safety Council
Attention: Safe Communities America
1121 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143
and email an electronic version of your Letter of Intent to

An invoice will be sent upon receipt of Letter of Intent.
Email the letter of intent, addressed to WHO CCCSP, to;;

Please include the Invoice address and organization number/ tax number. An invoice with the application fee (1000 euros) will be sent to the community.

Step 2: Application

If your community decides on a National Safe Communities designation:
  1. Complete the national application.
  2. Send electronically, in PDF format, to, Safe Communities America at the National Safety Council.

If your community decides on the International Safe Communities designation:

  1. Complete the by visiting and using the international guidelines.
  2. Complete an internet application (Form B).

Application Fees
(International fees have changed)

The application fee is due when you send in your Letter of Intent. The application is non-refundable. The fee varies depending on the designation your community is applying for.

National Application Fee - $1,200
International Application Fee – 1000 euros. For more information, please visit the WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion at

Step 3: Site Visit
(International Site Visit process has changed)

After reviewing your application, the Safe Communities America Certifying Center site reviewers will schedule a site visit with the community. The site visit is an opportunity to highlight your community and its safety promotion and injury prevention programs.

Step 4: Designation Ceremony

Celebrate Your Success! The Safe Communities Designation brings international recognition to your community’s safety and injury prevention efforts. A Safe Communities America Certifying Center representative will be present to award your community this honor.

Guidelines for maintaining membership in the National Network of Safe Communities
  • Annual Reports:
    Communities that are part of the Safe Communities America Network will be required to submit an Annual Report. Directions for the Annual Report will be communicated to members of the Safe Communities America Network.
  • After Five Years - the Re-designation Process:
    Communities are required to submit applications for re-designation five years after their entry to the network. A Safe Communities America representative will provide additional information.
  • Annual Safe Communities America Conference:
    It is recommended that at least on representative from the community attends the annual Safe Communities America Networking conference held in the Fall of every year.

For more information, please email

  CONTACT US: 1121 Spring Lake Drive Itasca, IL 60143-3201     1-800-621-7615  
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