In 1990 the Dutch organisations for health care providers, patientsorganizations and insurance companies agreed on the implementation of quality systems in health care. Ever since, the health care professions - including dentists - are being involved in the development of quality systems to assure and improve the quality of care. In 2000 a national survey has been conducted to investigate which quality systems already were developed by Dutch health care professions and a comparison between the professions has been made. It appeared that the quality systems of the professions are characterised by four pillars. 1. professional expertise; 2. evidence based guidelines for good practice; 3. peer review directed at continuous improvement; and 4. re-licensing or certification to guarantee the quality. The study showed that the professions differ in the quality policies they pursue and in the progress which has been made. In dental practice an accent in the quality policy is on peer review (whereas in general practice the accent is on guidelines). Ranking the professions in the degree in which the quality system are developed, medical doctors and pharmacists are frontrunners, dentist are in the middle rank whereas nurses and psychologists are lagging behind. For the years to come, a priority has been set on further implementation of the quality systems.