What? (image right side)

The countries highlighted in green are
participating in Quality Action

Iceland Ireland Portugal Slovakia Lithuania Estonia France Italy Image Map United Kingdom Spain France Belgium Luxembourg Netherlands Germany Switzerland Italy Austria Poland Norway Sweden Finland Romania Bulgaria Slovenia Croatia Greece Ukraine Latvia


What is Quality Action?

Quality Action is the EU co-funded ‘Joint Action on Improving Quality in HIV Prevention’ involving 45 partner organisations from 26 Member States, which started on March 2013 and ran for three years.

Quality Action promotes practical tools and materials to maximise the quality of HIV prevention projects and programmes. Five practical quality improvement tools are ready, available and translated into a range of European languages. They use different methodologies, have different degrees of complexity and each suits particular applications.

Quality Action has developed a Tool Selection Guide, to help identify which of the five tools to use for different projects and programmes. More than 80 practical applications of the tools have been developed and translated into case studies. Quality Action has trained more than 400 quality improvement trainers and facilitators from 25 different European countries.

Quality Action has developed two key documents to gain policy support and create an enabling environment for quality improvement. The ‘Charter for Quality in HIV Prevention’ summarises quality principles, criteria and key activities to put quality improvement into practice and offer practitioners, experts, policy makers and all other stakeholders the opportunity to commit to improving their work in HIV prevention. The Policy Kit offers policy makers the rationale and concrete actions for integrating quality improvement into HIV prevention policies, strategies and action plans.

What is structured quality improvement?

Quality improvement recognises and documents what works well and why, builds on and multiplies successes. Quality Action offers a structured approach, evidence-based principles and criteria, practical tools and trained experts.

The approach is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, with stakeholder participation and self-reflection driving quality upwards. Quality improvement in turn identifies and documents quality standards. The main work of Quality Action was to integrate this approach into the existing conceptual and practical working processes of HIV prevention stakeholders in order to maximise uptake.

Coordination of Quality Action

From 2013-2016 Quality Action was co-funded by the European Commission as a Joint Action and coordinated by the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) in Cologne, Germany. Its three cross-cutting and five core work packages were led by governmental and non-governmental organisations based in Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Germany and the UK.


Quality Action and IQhiv

The methodological concept behind Quality Action is based on the work of the IQhiv initiative, which was launched in 2009. IQhiv aims to:

  1. Promote the routine inclusion of quality improvement practices into HIV prevention across Europe at the project, program and policy levels; and
  2. Disseminate information on quality improvement practices that have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of HIV prevention at the project, program and policy levels.

Further information can be found on the IQhiv website.



Activities can be divided into three main phases, each about 12 months long:

  • Year 1: Promoting and organising participation and dissemination, getting quality improvement tools and training packages ready, preparing data collection and building expert and policy networks.
  • Year 2: Translating materials, organising regional training events, organising local workshops and application of tools, using the tools on HIV prevention projects and programmes, collecting results and evaluation data.
  • Year 3: Analysing results, developing the Charter for Quality and the Policy Kit, making final revisions to tools, training packages and other materials, holding the final conference, disseminating results and products, reporting.

Below you will find a schematic overview that sets out when which of the activities were planned to take place. For further information about the Quality Action activities and timeline, please download the ‘Project Roadmap’.

Further information about the EU Health Programme from DG SANCO can be found here.

This website is part of the Joint Action on Improving Quality in HIV Prevention (Quality Action), which has received funding from the European Union within the framework of the Health Programme.

For further information about Quality Action, please contact us here.