Effective quality assurance is essential in any screening programme. This article provides a unique insight into key quality indicators of five rounds of the first population-based colorectal cancer screening programme implemented in Spain (2000-2012), providing the results according to the type of screening (prevalent or first screen and incident or subsequent screen) and test (guaiac or immunochemical). The total crude participation rate increased from 17.2% (11,011) in the first round to 35.9% (22,988) in the last one. Rescreening rate was very high (88.6% in the fifth round). Positivity rate was superior with the faecal immunochemical test (6.2%) than with the guaiac-based test (0.7%) (p < 0.0001) and detection rates were also better with the immunochemical test. The most significant rise in detection rate was observed for high risk adenoma in men (45.5 per 1,000 screened). Most cancers were diagnosed at an early stage (61.4%) and there was a statistically significant difference between those detected in first or subsequent screening (52.6% and 70.0% respectively; p = 0.024). The availability of these results substantially improves data comparisons and the exchange of experience between screening programmes.