The A&D Programme

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide cancer patients equal access to a high quality of cancer care in multidisciplinary teams; to ensure that cancer research and innovation are fully integrated into patient care pathways; and to put patients at the centre of their care.

To achieve these aims within cancer centres, the A&D Programme is designed to enable a complete quality system for cancer diagnosis, care, education and research by using OECI standards and indicators and peer review.

The A&D Programme is the only cancer accreditation programme globally which evaluates comprehensive cancer care and translational research in a seamless process. Many quality assessment programmes are part of regulatory measures imposed by an external authority. 

In contrast, the OECI A&D programme is a supportive voluntary measure for cancer centres. 

The A&D Programme been developed over more than 15 years by a wide range of experts from European cancer centres, professional societies and patient organisations, building upon the most impactful quality standards worldwide. Peer review is performed by experts in cancer care and research from OECI cancer centres, and site visits are chaired by a director of an OECI cancer centre.

To improve

quality in cancer care, education and research

To enable

knowledge exchange, cooperation and coherence among European cancer centres

To promote

comprehensive care and optimal Quality of Life for patients

Designation Types

OECI distinguishes three types of designation. They all require a high degree of multidisciplinarity and high-quality cancer care.

The three types are:

  • OECI Cancer Centre (CC)
  • OECI Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC)
  • OECI Comprehensive Cancer Network (CCN)

All OECI accredited cancer centres are required to have:

  • An identifiable organisational entity with a clear governance
  • A direct provision of an extensive variety range of high-quality cancer diagnostics and care tailored to the individual patient’s needs
  • A culture of learning and improving the professional and organisational quality of care

In addition, OECI Comprehensive Cancer Centres are required to demonstrate:

  • High level of infrastructure, expertise and innovation in cancer research, especially in translational and clinical research, but also in many cases including basic science
  • Either strong University and Research Institute links, or a University partnership as part of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Extensive international networking

The key word in the A&D Programme is: comprehensiveness; of both professional infrastructure and performance. It is based upon the philosphy: “If all relevant competences, skills, resources and tools concerning cancer care and research are brought together and integrated, it will lead to an outcome that is larger, on the whole, than the sum of its parts”. Comprehensiveness, in that sense, can be seen as a basic principle on how cancer activities should be organised.

The designation criteria
The designation criteria relating to research capacity and capabilities are used to decide the designation of the cancer centre. Before the start of the self assessment the preliminary designation is assessed based upon quantitative criteria. The audit team will look at comprehensiveness based on quality criteria (as mentioned above) and the consistency of all parts during the peer review visit.


Comprehensive Cancer Centres

Cancer Centres

Comprehensive Cancer Networks

Centres in accreditation

Centres and Networks in our programme

A&D Programme User Manual

The User Manual consists of:
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Standards
  • Overview of required documents to be translated in English
  • OECI A&D Procedure
  • Description of tasks and responsibilities of those involved in the A&D Process

The Manual is revised every five years. The latest revision was in 2019.

Manual 3 is the result of a rigorous revision process and a successful collaboration among the A&D Programme, OECI Members, centres in the A&D Programme, and auditors involved in the peer review process, as well as input from expert societies and patient groups, including the European Cancer Organisation, European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, European Oncology Nursing Society, European Cancer Patient Coalition, Association of European Cancer Leagues, European Society for Medical Oncology, Cancer Core Europe, Cancer Prevention Europe, European Academy of Cancer Sciences.

It builds on OECI’s 12 successful years of experience in cancer quality systems in Europe.

E-Tool Login

Click here to log into the A&D Programme e-tool

OECI Standards

Standards describe the requirements the quality system has to meet

Having gone through two major revisions, we believe that the OECI standards are now the most comprehensive and unique when compared to existing standards on cancer care and research. They are translated in two questionnaires, a qualitative and a quantitative, to assess the current quality in a cancer centre. Both are integrated into an electronic tool (e-tool) for self-assessment.

100 CORE standards
The CORE standards are important prerequisites for high quality cancer care and research. They always need to be provided with evidence and a clarification in the notes in the e-tool during self assessment. Non-compliance – assessed during the peer review – may be reasons for a delay in certification. These standards were published in Lancet Oncology.

Certification by the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IEEA)
In 2022, the OECI Standards Manual 3.2 were awarded with the IEEA certification, which was the result of a robust self-assessment and evaluation process, based upon the IEEA’s Guidelines and Principles for the Development of Health and Social Care Standards, 5th edition.

OECI Standards domains

What are the domains of Quality Standards?

  • Governance of the Cancer Centre
  • Organisation of the Cancer Centre
  • Patient involvement and empowerment
  • Multidisciplinarity
  • Prevention and Early Detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Research
  • Education and Training in all disciplines