Implementing quality standards for drug services and systems: a six-step guide to support quality assurance


This publication provides a practical introduction to the area of quality standards and quality assurance mechanisms and the key steps involved in their implementation in drug services and systems. The primary audience for this guide is those responsible for commissioning, planning or providing quality assurance processes at the national or local level. It may also be of interest to recipients of interventions, service users or advocacy groups.

Table of contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • About this guide
  • Who can use quality standards and for what purpose?
  • Types of quality standards that apply to drug-related interventions
  • Quality standards in the national, European and international context
  • The quality standards implementation process
  • Six steps to consider for implementing quality standards
  • Step 1
    • Diagnosis: what is the problem the quality assurance project will address?
  • Step 2
    • Scoping: what are the goals and who to involve?
  • Step 3
    • Mapping and selection: what standards apply and how can we verify them?
  • Step 4
    • Assessment of systems and services: how to evaluate
  • Step 5
    • Drafting an improvement plan and disseminating results: when, where and to whom to communicate
  • Step 6
    • Preparing for the next cycle: how to ensure continuous evaluation
  • Sources and further reading