How to use this toolkit

How can the EDPQS Self-Assessment & Reflection toolkit work for you in practice?

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3. Follow the 1-4 steps
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4. Export you questions / notes, make a “snapshot” of your current progress, revise or retake toolkit

This toolkit should support you to improve and make your day-to-day job easier and help to fill the gap between science and practice. In particular, it can offer support and reassurance in the planning or implementation phase of your activity. It can offer a common model for communication among different prevention workers, support professional and organisational development and help to orientate the professional culture in prevention towards high quality.

The purpose of this toolkit is to help and promote self-learning, self-reflection and self-improvement. It aims to raise awareness regarding the need for “high quality” in drug prevention. It is not about external evaluation or judgment on your performance: it is an opportunity to enhance your everyday work and help to ensure that you take into account the important issues of quality provision in your efforts to prevent substance use and promote health.

The EDPQS highlight the following aspects of quality in prevention work:

  • Relevance of activities to target populations needs and (inter)governmental policies
  • Adherence to accepted ethical principles
  • Integration and promotion of the scientific evidence base
  • Internal coherence, project feasibility and sustainability.

Using this toolkit requires basic background knowledge and understanding of key concepts in the field of drug prevention and/or health promotion.

NOTE: Whilst the EDPQS are a reference point on “how” to develop, deliver and sustain a prevention program, they do not provide guidelines on “what” activities should be delivered. For the latter purpose, EDPQS users should refer to resources such as the EMCDDA Best Practice Portal at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/best-practice

When can you benefit from using the EDPQS Self-Assessment & Reflection Toolkit?

This toolkit can provide benefit by helping to:

  • Review the quality of ongoing or completed prevention programmes
  • Assess whether prevention related activity is undertaken or likely to operate in a way that can be considered “high quality”
  • Assess the quality of your prevention project plan
  • Raise your professional competencies and those of your working group or organisation
  • Support high quality planning of a new prevention intervention.

This toolkit can be used in different circumstances:

  • To conduct a self-assessment on your own activity at the individual level
  • For self-reflection or discussion in group settings within the same prevention programme (e.g. by a team of practitioners who are delivering the programme in direct contact with the target population)
  • For assessment and evaluation of prevention activities within the same organisation (e.g. by service managers) or multiple providers (e.g. by regional planning teams).

What can you find in the EDPQS Self-Assessment & Reflection Toolkit?

This toolkit can support your day-to-day practice and give you the chance to review the quality of your new, ongoing or completed prevention activity in accordance with the EDPQS. It can be used for informal purposes of self-reflection including the identification of strengths or areas for further development and professional learning.

Accordingly, the core elements of the toolkit correspond to a range of “graded” tools (from basic to in-depth use) that you can select and combine according to your needs or different stages of your prevention work on the basis of the particular circumstances.

In particular, the Toolkit includes:

  • A template for a Workplan on your self-assessment activity
  • A Quality Assessment Checklist of your current work with a few questions at the level of the EDPQS components: you will be asked to answer “Yes” or “No” which will give an indication of standards achievement
  • A Quality Synthesis Profile showing a visual global result of how your prevention work relates to the EDPQS at each stage and within the entire project cycle, identifying critical areas that need improvement
  • An Improvement Support Questionnaire with open questions at the level of the EDPQS components to further support self-reflection on your activity and plan actions for improvement
  • An Action Plan template with a summary of actions to be taken

All of these can be accessed once you have logged into the interactive part of this website.

Use instructions for the Self-Assessment & Reflection Checklists

The Checklists are based on the EDPQS. They are divided according to the eight project stages plus four cross-cutting considerations. The Checklists mainly refer to the basic Standards, summarising the attribute level standards.

While using the Checklists, you are not required to follow the chronological order of the cycle, but you can adapt it on the basis of the particular circumstances of your prevention work. For example, if an activity is already in the implementation phase, you may wish to begin using the Checklist at that phase as it may be more relevant than the earlier project stages on programme planning.

When you are ready to reflect on your own prevention work’s position in relation to the EDPQS and to identify strengths or areas for further improvement, either the Quality Assessment Checklist or the Improvement Support Questionnaire will act as a good support tool. Even the use of only one of the tools represents an effective exercise for self-assessment and self-reflection of your work.

The time required to complete the entire Quality Assessment Checklist is approximately one hour, and the same amount of time should be assumed for each part of the Improvement Support Questionnaire, but the time spent will depend on different factors (e.g. if you want to use the Checklists individually or within your working group).

You may wish to consider if you are:

  • At an advanced stage of your project planning or programme’s implementation phase
  • Oriented to involve your team
  • Able to dedicate time and resources to the self-assessment activity
  • Intending to plan a periodical review of this activity
  • Willing for an in-depth self-assessment activity
  • Strongly motivated to improve your work based on the EDPQS.
If so, you might want to undertake a two-step EDPQS Self-Assessment & Reflection process as follows:

1st STEP: Check Quality Achievement – Take an overview of your prevention work and check its formal quality on the basis of the EDPQS.

  • Use the Quality Assessment Checklist: try to answer each question and rate your quality achievement at the level of each Standard component
  • Use the Quality Synthesis Profile to get a total overview of how your prevention work corresponds to the EDPQS at the level of each project stage, and the entire project cycle, to help identify the strengths of your prevention work and the critical areas that need further efforts for improvement.

2nd STEP: Refine by reflection on paths for improvement – Refine by reflecting on your prevention work concentrating on areas identified as critical in the Quality Synthesis Profile.

  • Use the Improvement Support Questionnaire: try to answer the questions concerning the components in respect to the critical areas identified in the Quality Synthesis Profile, so as to support further discussion and in-depth reflection; find out which efforts are required to improve; record actions you need to plan and undertake.
NOTE: The questions included in both the Quality Assessment Checklist and the Improvement Support Questionnaire mainly correspond to the basic Standards at the attribute level.While answering the questions, you might want to clarify or have more information about a specific EDPQS standard. Self-Assessment & Reflection toolkit users are encouraged to refer to the Manual at www.prevention-standards.eu/manual/ to access the complete list of the Standards: checking also the expert Standards and examples of their evidence can help to better understand what is being asked in the questionnaire.