• anatomical donor program;
  • anatomy bequest program;
  • gross anatomy education;
  • undergraduate medical education;
  • body donation;
  • ethics;
  • quality management standard;
  • certification;
  • ISO 9001:2008


Quality management improvement has become a recent focus of attention in medical education. The program for the donation of bodies and body parts (Body Donation Program) at the University of Padova has recently been subjected to a global quality management standard, the ISO 9001:2008 certification. The aim of the present work is to show how the above standard is useful in enhancing the efficiency of body donation procedures and the quality and output of medical education. The program is managed by means of the following interlinked procedures: the collection of body donations, death certificates, data, and body parts from living donors; the transportation and identification of cadavers; the management of bodies, body parts, equipment, instruments, purchasing of necessary materials, and setting up anatomical training sessions; the management of preventive and corrective actions; the management of documents and registration; the management of internal and external quality audits; and the review of outcomes and improvement planning. Monitoring indicators are identified in the numbers of donors and of donated body parts per year, education sessions, and satisfaction of learners and donors, as evaluated by questionnaires. The process management approach, the integrated involvement of medical, technical, and administrative staff in defining procedures, and the application of monitoring indicators allow quality improvement in all aspects of the Body Donation Program. Anat Sci Educ. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.