Related activities and projects

The Prevention Standards Partnership maintains close links with other organisations active in promoting quality in prevention at an international level. The activities and projects described on this page reflect ongoing developments with regard to quality standards and the professionalisation of the prevention workforce:

See also our Across Europe and Outside Europe pages for information about synergies between the EDPQS project and other initiatives to promote quality in prevention.


Development and promotion of quality standards

Prevention guidelines and standards in Europe – EMCDDA

EMCDDA logoThe EMCDDA’s Best Practice Portal (described below) provides a repository of quality standards and guidelines available in the Member States of the European Union (EU) and internationally. Of particular interest is the collection of prevention related standards, many of which informed the development of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards.

The list is available at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/best-practice/guidelines


Minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction interventions in the EU

EU Council ConclusionsOn 14 September 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted Council conclusions on the implementation of minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU.

The document sets out EU minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction with a view to supporting and promoting a qualitative approach in drug demand reduction interventions in the EU.

The areas covered by the minimum standards are:

  • Prevention
  • Risk and harm reduction
  • Treatment, social integration and rehabilitation.

For the Prevention area, the document specifies the following four standards:

a. Prevention (environmental, universal, selective and indicative) interventions are targeted at the general population, at populations at risk of developing a substance use problem or at populations/individuals with an identified problem. They can be aimed at preventing, delaying or reducing drug use, its escalation and/or its negative consequences in the general population and/or subpopulations; and are based on an assessment of and tailored to the needs of the target population;

b. Those developing prevention interventions have competencies and expertise on prevention principles, theories and practice, and are trained and/or specialised professionals who have the support of public institutions (education, health and social services) or work for accredited or recognised institutions or NGOs;

c. Those implementing prevention interventions have access to and rely on available evidence-based programmes and/or quality criteria available at local, national and international levels;

d. Prevention interventions form part of a coherent long-term prevention plan, are appropriately monitored on an ongoing basis allowing for necessary adjustments, are evaluated and the results disseminated so as to learn from new experiences.

The new “minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU” build on previous initiatives to formulate and establish quality standards in prevention, treatment and harm reduction, including the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) initiative and EQUS (see below). These are also specifically referred to in the Council Counclusions.

Although non-binding, these standards represent an official recommendation by the Council of the European Union.

The standards have been translated into 23 languages.

For further information, please see our blog announcement concerning these standards.


Study on the Development of an EU Framework for Minimum quality standards and benchmarks in drug demand reduction (EQUS)

The main objective of the EQUS project was to collect existing national and international information on quality standards and benchmarks in drug demand reduction, to set up an inventory of these standards and benchmarks, and to extract from this inventory lists of minimum quality standards to be submitted to a range of relevant stakeholders for approval. These proposed minimum quality standards served as recommendations addressed to the European Commission to underpin its work on a proposal for an EU consensus on minimum quality standards. The prevention strand of EQUS is based on an adaptation of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards. The EQUS project was led by the Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction at the University of Zurich and was also co-funded by the European Union.

Further information can be found in the final report and the annex, as well as in our EDPQS Toolkit 4.


International Standards on Drug Use Prevention – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

PrintThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published International Standards on Drug Use Prevention which are intended to guide policymakers worldwide to develop programmes, policies and systems that are a truly effective investment in the future of children, young people, families and communities.

The global International Standards summarise the currently available scientific evidence and identify the major components and features of an effective national drug prevention system. The document describes interventions and policies reporting positive outcomes in terms of prevention of substance abuse by developmental stage (age). It also outlines some drug prevention issues that require further research.

These International Standards build on and unodc_bannerrecognise the work of many other organizations, including the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the European Prevention Standards Partnership, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the World Health Organization, Mentor Foundation, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which have previously developed standards and guidelines on various aspects of drug prevention. Moreover, an extensive international group of experts participated in the development of the document.

The documents are available from the UNODC website (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/prevention/prevention-standards.html) in English and other languages.


copolad1A consensus process to define demand reduction accreditation criteria within Iberoamerican countries – Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies between Latin America and the European Union (COPOLAD)

COPOLAD is a partnership cooperation programme between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA), aiming to improving the coherence, balance and impact of drugs policies, through the exchange of mutual experiences, bi-regional coordination and the promotion multisectoral, comprehensive and coordinated responses. As part of its activities, COPOLAD developed a consensus process to define demand reduction accreditation criteria within Iberoamerican countries.

The objective of this exercise was to identify models and criteria which, according to the available evidence, contribute to improving the quality and effectiveness of drug demand reduction (DDR) programmes implemented in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries.

Additionally, this exercise also aimed to: a) analyse the legal framework regulating accreditation of services and programmes implemented in the field of DDR in participating countries; and b) to explore the realistic possibilities of promoting DDR accreditation processes and/or instruments, based on previously agreed quality criteria.

This work took into account the achievements copolad2already made by the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards Project, and it is anticipated that there will be close coordination and information exchange between the two projects in the future.

The initiative is implemented in the framework of the Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies between Latin America and the European Union, financed by the European Union.

Further information can be found at www.copolad.eu


Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS)

The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) is the Western Hemisphere’s policy forum for dealing with the drug problem. As part of its activities in the area of quality assurance in prevention, CICAD has been working to develop Minimum Quality Standards (MQS). These standards have a main focus on staff competences, although the adaptation and implementation of programmes are also addressed.

The CICAD MQS for prevention were developed taking into account the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) and the COPOLAD accreditation criteria for demand reduction programmes. However, the CICAD MQS aimed to provide the Latin American Countries with minimal criteria that could feasibly be applied in the hemisphere; and thus the standards provided by EDPQS and COPOLAD were simplified and reduced.

The CICAD MQS are not yet fully published but may form the basis for a minimal accreditation system for prevention professionals in South-America, to be tested and developed together with COPOLAD.

CICAD’s website can be found at http://cicad.oas.org

Further information about the CICAD MQS is also available in: Burkhart, G. (2015). International standards in prevention: How to influence prevention systems by policy interventions? International Journal of Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders, 1(3-4), 18–37, available from http://ijptsud.sljol.info/articles/abstract/10.4038/ijptsud.v1i3-4.7836/.


Canadian Standards for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention – Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA)

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA)The Canadian Standards for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention are designed to support new and existing prevention teams in planning, implementing and evaluating their initiatives. They are composed of standards for substance abuse prevention in schools and communities, along with guidelines for family-based prevention initiatives. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) works with national and provincial agencies, municipalities, prevention workers, school administrators and teachers to support the use of the Canadian Standards. The Standards have been applied to a variety of programs and contexts across Canada, including municipal drug strategies, regional health authorities, school boards and family-based initiatives within multiple schools. The Canadian Standards have garnered interest both nationally and internationally. CCSA and its partners continue to invest in the Canadian Standards by developing and testing tools and resources to enhance their implementation.

To view the Canadian Standards, visit http://www.ccsa.ca/Eng/topics/Children-and-Youth/Drug-Prevention-Standards/Pages/default.aspx


Dissemination of scientific evidence and good practice principles

Best Practice Portal – European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

EMCDDA logoThe EMCDDA’s Best practice portal is a resource for professionals, policymakers and researchers in the drug field. The Portal provides information on the available evidence on drug-related prevention, treatment and harm reduction, focusing on the European context. The evidence is compiled following an explicit methodological process, and is presented according to client profiles, which are designed according to the European data on illicit drug users collected at the EMCDDA.

General best practice tools and resources available on the portal include:

  • Standards and guidelines
  • Exchange on Drug Demand Reduction Action (EDDRA)
  • Evaluation Instruments Bank (EIB)
  • Glossary of best practice terms

The portal is available at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/best-practice


The Mentor International Prevention Hubmentor_prevention_hub

The Mentor International Prevention Hub offers a focal point for sharing research, policy and best practice and to build networks to support the global drug prevention community. It provides an online resource and meeting place for all who make up the drug prevention community.

The Prevention Hub aims to improve prevention activities to facilitate young people receiving highest quality inputs by:

  • Fostering a well-informed, skilled and engaged international prevention community
  • Promoting and sharing evidence-based policy and practice
  • Sharing drug prevention knowledge, support and advice
  • Demonstrating the application and dissemination of prevention know-how

The Prevention Hub has five sections:

  1. Prevention Update: a blog highlighting the latest prevention research, news, statistics, resources, policy and events
  2. Who is Who?: An international database of participants in the field of prevention providing the opportunity to network and collaborate
  3. Effective Practice: What is effective practice? Where do you go to find it? How do you do it?
  4. Professional Development: Training tools, user guides, webinars, videos, online lectures, resources and discussion forums
  5. Sharing and Support: A place to share opinion, experience and knowledge and to ask Mentor International and other prevention specialists any questions

To access the Prevention Hub, visit www.preventionhub.org


Universal Prevention Curriculum for Substance Use (UPC)

UPC-1The Universal Prevention Curriculum for Substance Use (UPC) is a training initiative funded by the Colombo Plan and the U.S. State Department International Division to help professionalise the prevention workforce and to support accreditation for those in the prevention field. The initiative aims to promote prevention science and best practice and quality in prevention, building upon the outcomes of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) and the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (see above). The UPC is being developed and disseminated by Applied Prevention Science, Inc., a not-for-profit international organisation committed to applying prevention science to policy and practice around the world.

The Curriculum is in nine parts; and is targeted at prevention coordinators, managers, policy makers, as well as prevention implementers. There are specific components focussing on schools, environment, media, community, and the workplace.

The Curriculum is being implemented in parts of South East Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. There are plans for its adaptation and dissemination in other parts of the world, including Europe. The development is endorsed by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) (see above) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

For further information, please visit http://www.colombo-plan.org or http://www.issup.net/en/the-universal-prevention-curriculum-for-substance-use


Professional networks and societies to promote quality in prevention

Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN)

logo-span The Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN) has been funded by the European Commission Lifelong Learning programme (LLP) to support the establishment of a network of prevention scientists and educators. The project brings together experts from 32 European institutions to map the prevention science sector, improve education and training, build networks and run workshops with researchers, in particular young researchers. The network seeks to address some of the key education and training priorities for the European Prevention Science sector that have been identified as being critical for the development of the discipline. It also complemented/augmented the core activities of the work of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards Phase II project as well as the European Society for Prevention Research (see below). The SPAN project lead is Professor David Foxcroft at Oxford Brookes University.

To find out more about the SPAN project, visit http://www.span-europe.eu/


European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR)

euspr-logoThe European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) seeks to advance the science base of environmental, universal, selective and indicated prevention aimed at improving human health and well-being and addressing health inequalities. Cornerstones of this advancement are: cross-disciplinary networks of scientists, policy makers and practitioners, methodology development, promotion of higher education and career development in prevention and implementation research. The EMCDDA Manual on European Drug Prevention Quality Standards was launched at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Society in December 2011. Members of the European Prevention Standards Partnership have been active in supporting the Society and have also been represented in its Board. Between 2012 and 2015, the leading scientist on the Prevention Standards project, Prof Harry Sumnall, was the President of the EUSPR.

Find out more about the society at http://euspr.org


International Task Force of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR)

logo-sprThere is ongoing dialogue between the EDPQS project and the work of the International Task Force of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR). The International Task Force is a group from within SPR with individuals representing a number of countries around the world to help promote the development and support of Prevention Science globally. One of the focus areas for the group is to help identify and spread quality standards and “best practice” for prevention at the international level and for this work to be presented and shared at the SPR Annual conference and within other relevant fora, such as the European Society for Prevention Research. The International Task Force of SPR has provided support to the EDPQS project as a way of ensuring that European work in this field is shared and made accessible to an international audience.

Further information about the SPR can be found at http://www.preventionresearch.org/


International Society for Substance Use Prevention Treatment and Prevention Professionals (ISSUP)

logo ISSUP

The International Society for Substance Use Prevention Treatment and Prevention Professionals (ISSUP) has recently been established as a membership organisation for those active in the prevention and treatment field. It aims to promote international programmes and accreditation for those working in both prevention and treatment. The inaugural meeting of the Society was held from 6-11 July 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.

For further information about ISSUP, please visit www.issup.net


If you would like to get in touch with any of the organisations mentioned above, please contact the Prevention Standards Partnership and we will try to put you in touch with relevant individuals.