Quality Circles

Strategy and plan for the next year(s)

  1. Work through the EQuiP survey on structured small group work (SSGW) in Europe.
  2. Decide on complementary interviews with experts in already active countries to explore local projects and to ask what they expect from a Working Party.
  3. Decide on complementary interviews with experts in countries not using QCs to explore what they may expect from such a working party to eventually start QCs.
  4. Plan and decide on some kind of a road map to meet the expectations.

The aims of the working group (QC stands for any kind of SSGW)

The overarching aim is to form a reflective, evaluative and interprofessional platform that supports and stimulates QCs in their ambitions of CPD/CME/QI.
The working group supports QCs in different aspects: training on QCs and practicing QCs; teaching about QCs and networking among organisations, and finally producing and disseminating knowledge about QCs.

The objectives of the working group

The main objective of the working groups is to build a platform for meetings, workshops, conferences where people can get together to exchange knowledge, to alleviate exchange of experts and digital exchange of resources like articles but also ideas.
The platform should facilitate the starting phase of QCs by studying the context and process that is needed for groups to flourish. The platform should also provide information about sustainability of QCs and examine motivation for participation in QCs and their necessary intermediate and final outcomes that make them work for a long period of time.


  • Protocol on a realist synthesis on Quality Circles (1)
  • At the conference in Fischingen 2015, the range of components that characterise QCs have been documented and explained, their underlying mechanisms and the local context in which they are conducted were discussed. Read much more about and see PP slides from the Fischingen conference here
  • Beyer’s (2003) survey on QCs in European countries will be repeated to describe their aims and objectives (2).
  • The characteristics of QCs will be described (3).
  • A realist synthesis will build the foundation for a cook book on QCs: for facilitators, there will be a training package; for participants, there will be information about the context and process in QCs; and for policy makers, the emphasis will be on intermediate and final outcomes.
  • An online library is planned that contains background papers, studies that evaluate QC and methodological papers.
  • Ethical Principles of QCs are important for sustainability of QCs. The Working Group will pay special attention to them and summarize the ethical principles that are vital for QCs’ viability.
  • Policy Papers aimed at health insurance companies, administrators and professional bodies
1: Rohrbasser A, Mickan S, Harris J. Exploring why quality circles work in primary health care: a realist review protocol. Systematic Reviews. 2013;2(1):110. PubMed PMID: doi:10.1186/2046-4053-2-110.
2: Rohrbasser A, Kirk UB. The development of quality circles for quality improvement in Europe from 2000 to 2015 involving 26 European countries. WONCA Europe 2016; Copenhagen2016.
3: Rohrbasser A, Kirk UB. Characteristics of Quality Circles across Europe. WONCA Europe 2016; Copenahgen. Denmark2016.


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Adrian Rohrbasser
EQuiP Working Group Leader on Quality Circles