Dutch national policy envisages that all treatment interventions, irrespective of their provision, should be evidence based and comply with prevailing guidelines. Together with the institutes for mental health care, the institutes for addiction care are organised within the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ Nederland), which supports the quality management of addiction care by means of the programme ‘Scoring Results’ (Resultaten Scoren). In 2017, the Dutch Addiction Association (DAA, Verslavingskunde Nederland) was established, a network that includes institutes for addiction care, client organisations, knowledge centres, and the GGZ Nederland and Resultaten Scoren. The DAA attempts to enhance the quality of addiction care in the Netherlands. The development of quality standards and registrations is partly performed by the Foundation Quality Standards Mental Health Care. This foundation developed and published guidelines for the treatment of opioid addiction (2017) and guidelines for the treatment of non-opioid drug abuse (2018).
The national infrastructure for the governance and coordination of the implementation of best practices comprises the Minister and the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), who is advised by GGZ Nederland, the National Health Care Institute (Zorginstituut Nederland) and the Trimbos Institute.
In addition, the Minister and the State Secretary can initiate the development of quality standards and guidelines for best practices by the DAA and the Quality Institute. These quality standards and guidelines are implemented by the health insurance companies so that only qualified evidence-based best practices are funded. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) and the Healthcare Inspectorate (IGZ) monitor the implementation of the best practices. The accreditation system is operated by the CIBG Agency, an executive organisation within the VWS. Every professional working in the healthcare sector and in contact with patients has to be registered at the ‘BIG registry’. As of 1 January 2017, all providers of mental health care are obliged to disclose a quality statute. This statute will be reviewed by a board every 2 years.
Academic curricula, continuing education programmes and refresher courses for professionals are offered by universities and institutes for higher education, and degrees can be obtained at BSc and MSc levels. There is a specific master’s degree in Addiction Medicine at Radboud University.