Centre for Population Screening

The Centre for Population Screening directs and coordinates the eight national population screening programmes offered by the government. It is also responsible for the National Influenza Prevention Programme. The centre connects the parties in policy making and implementation. It organises and supports the network proactively and aims to further develop current population screening and successfully implement new screening.

In consultation with partner organisations, the Centre for Population Screening then produces, pools and provides access to the knowledge and expertise required. Aside from coordination and management, the centre is responsible for the tasks listed below:

  • Finances population screening
  • Quality assessment and quality assurance
  • Ensures proper information management
  • Monitors the quality of screening programmes and evaluates other aspects
  • Communicates with the public, professionals and stakeholders
  • Pools knowledge and innovates
  • Advises and informs policymakers

The objective is to achieve health benefits and offer citizens treatment options through a familiar, accessible, safe and integrated range of high-quality population screening at reasonable cost.
A large number of partner organisations carry out the population screening. Each party has its own responsibilities and authority. Thanks to the joint efforts of organisations and professionals, the population screening contributes to a healthier society.

How we operate

It is imperative that the organisations in the chain keep the common objectives of population screening in mind. As the supervisor, the Centre for Population Screening ensures optimal collaboration by all parties in the chain. The centre also aims for a high level of quality (effective, demand-driven, secure, nationwide uniformity and innovative), accessibility (accessible, timely implementation, free choice), affordability (cost transparent, efficient and cost-effective) and good integration and links to the healthcare system. CvB monitors the collective interests in a business-like, unifying way. All population screening programmes use national programme committees, whose members are concerned stakeholders who advise the centre. The Centre for Population Screening is the knowledge hub for the implementation of population screening programmes.

The Centre's partners include:

  • Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (commissioning body)
  • Other governmental parties such as the Health Council of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW), and the Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ)
  • Implementing organisations, including the regional screening organisations for the screening programmes for cancer, the regional centres for prenatal screening and RIVM's Department for Vaccine Supply and Prevention Programmes
  • Professional and branch associations
  • Patient associations
  • Association of Dutch Health Insurers
  • and many other organisations

Fields of expertise

The government offers a range of screening tests to different sections of the population. The Dutch national population screening programme includes:

  • breast cancer screening
  • cervical cancer screening
  • bowel cancer screening
  • antenatal screening for infectious diseases and erythrocyte sensitisation (blood tests in pregnancy)
  • screening for Down's, Edwards’ and Patau's syndromes in pregnancy
  • 'Structural Ultrasound Scan’ (SEO, anomaly scan)
  • neonatal blood spot screening
  • neonatal hearing screening

Finally, the Centre for Population Screening also manages the National Influenza Prevention Programme.

Head of the Centre for Population Screening:  J. (Jaap) van Delden.


Centre for Population Screening
Telephone + 31 (0)30 274 7554
Fax + 31 (0)30 274 4414
E-mail cvb@rivm.nl

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