Using the toolkit for quality improvement

Apart from listing basic components of operating a CBVCT for MSM and making sure you have covered them, you can use this toolkit for developing your service further and for creating innovative approaches.

While quality assurance ensures that you meet the essential standards to achieve your objectives, quality improvement enables you to increase your ability to meet and exceed standards and maximises your chances of reaching your objectives. Quality improvement tools are designed to lead to change independent from your starting point; they aim for continuous improvement and innovation beyond any recognised standards (which may or may not exist).

In the checklists, the ‘Is it working as intended?’ question and your answer to it are the first steps towards structured quality improvement. You can use the Euro HIV EDAT Self-evaluation Grids as a starting point for quality improvement. In the ‘quality improvement’ sections, you can find further references to quality improvement tools that are particularly suited to each topic.

The quality improvement tools available on www.qualityaction.eu are based on the principles of self-reflection and participation. This means that they encourage a safe and supportive working environment to enable a range of stakeholders to participate, reflect on their practice and develop new and innovative ideas to improve all aspects of a project. The participation of the key population is especially important in order to extend reach and maximise accessibility.

The involvement of the key population in quality improvement and innovation can be of particular benefit to services targeting disadvantaged groups, and is therefore relevant for CBVCTs targeting MSM. Several existing European CBVCTs targeting MSM have used the Succeed and PQD (Participatory Quality Development) tools and documented their experiences in short case studies. You can find these case studies in the searchable database on www.qualityaction.eu.