Quality assurance in Belgium 2017

Belgium Country Drug Report 2017

Quality assurance

In Belgium, efforts have been made to develop an integrated, balanced and evidence-based drug policy, in line with the requirements of the EU drug strategy and the consecutive EU action plans. For this reason, the research programme on drugs of the Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) annually supports funding for several projects that contribute to the evaluation of the global and integrated Belgian drug policy. More specifically, BELSPO funds drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction initiatives. In the Flemish region, VAD (Vlaams expertisecentrum voor Alcohol - en andere Drugs or the Flemish centre of expertise for alcohol and other drugs) promotes evidence-based practice in alcohol and drug prevention and treatment. In 2013, VAD published a manual for quality improvement in substance abuse treatment, focusing on the implementation of evidence-based guidelines and outcome management.

Although neither an accreditation system for intervention providers nor a specific academic curriculum for professionals working in the field of demand reduction exists, several organisations provide specific continued education and specialisation courses.

In 2014-15, BELSPO funded a study on consensus building vis-à-vis minimal quality standards for drug demand reduction in Belgium. The aims of the study were to document the critical ingredients and prerequisites for the successful implementation of these standards, based on selected good practices; to assess the acceptability and actual implementation of the minimal standards for drug treatment, prevention and harm reduction; and to specify and put into operation the consensus minimal standards and develop standards of excellence that can be used as measures and benchmarks for monitoring and evaluating prevention, treatment and harm reduction intervention.

The research programme on drugs of BELSPO annually supports funding for several projects that contribute to the evaluation of the global and integrated Belgian drug policy


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