Ensuring the quality of services provided to citizens is a general objective in the National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (2013-20). Quality is a cross-cutting principle in the implementation of all measures aimed at tackling drugs and drug-related issues, to be achieved by the building of knowledge, training of professionals and international cooperation. Within this framework, SICAD assumes an important role in quality promotion by supporting the national coordinator (who is in charge of putting into practice the National Plan and corresponding action plans) and by developing an all-encompassing orientation towards quality improvement at different levels. In terms of interventions with communities and/or citizens with addictive behaviours and dependences (in prevention, dissuasion, treatment, social rehabilitation and harm reduction areas), the following activities are undertaken: defining evidencebased best practices, technical and normative guidelines to support interventions, as well as requirements in order to ensure quality of interventions; developing, planning and coordinating methodologies aimed at establishing orientations of activities undertaken by organisations in charge of implementing interventions; and providing detailed diagnostic criteria in order to identify intervention needs nationwide.
In 2015, SICAD developed several instruments for monitoring, at the service level, the implementation of some guidelines (Physiotherapy intervention in addictive behaviours and dependencies; Technical Standards and guidelines for detoxification units; and Harmonisation of judicial Procedures for the Commissions for the dissuasion of drug addiction).
Within the Ministry of Health, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) is the body responsible for quality accreditation of health programmes and interventions in terms of content and responses. In addition, within the framework of quality systems, the Portuguese Institute of Quality is in charge of the Portuguese Quality System, in accordance with international quality norms, and is mainly concerned with standardisation of procedures. The complementarity of actions between SICAD (quality promotion), DGS (quality accreditation of the basis of health programme contents) and the Institute of Quality (quality accreditation based on standardisation of processes) is therefore of major importance in all matters regarding quality in addictive behaviours and dependencies programmes and interventions.
Training and continued education forms one of the objectives of the national plan. Psychoactive drugs, addictive behaviours and dependencies are part of the academic training of doctors, psychologists, nurses and psychosocial workers. SICAD also provides training in the domain of addictive behaviours and dependences.
The Directorate General of Health (DGS) is the body responsible for quality accreditation of health programmes and interventions in terms of content and responses