About European Cancer Centres

About European Cancer Centres

The goal of the European Cancer Centre (ECC) Certification Programme is to improve the overall quality of cancer care by creating interdisciplinary and interproffesional networks in which all disciplines involved in the treatment of cancer patients work closely together along the entire chain of health care.

The objectives of the ECC Certification Programme are to:

  • define the quality of oncological health care services Europe-wide;
  • reduce differences in the quality of cancer health care services and provide standardized/uniform oncological health care services in all member states; and
  • establish a pan-European database to lay the foundations for comprehensive Europe-wide cancer health service research.

The Certification Programme was developed to improve cancer care starting in Germany and now expanding to all member states of Europe. It offers patients a treatment that is based on high quality standards at every stage of their disease.

Certified Cancer Centres form the basis of this approach: The centres are requested to demonstrate annually that they meet the technical and medical requirements for the treatment of a specific tumour entity. Quality requirements are summarised in questionnaires (Catalogues of Requirements) and Data Sheets with Quality Indicators, which are developed in interdisciplinary committees and are regularly updated. Medical guidelines (“S3-guidelines”) are the foundation for defining these quality standards.

The quality of the centres is recorded and published annually in benchmarking reports. In addition, every centre can commission an individualised Annual Report, which shows its own results in comparison to other certified Centres. With this benchmarking approach, centres can constantly improve their own quality.

The entire Certification System and thus the audits are organised by the independent certification institute OnkoZert, which specialised in medical certification.

The ECC Certification Programme contributes to European initiatives such as:

by implementing Comprehensive Cancer Care Networks (CCCN) in European member states and thereby improving the quality of cancer care.