Background: Due to its rising prevalence type 2 diabetes plays an important role concerning population health in Austria and other western countries. In various studies deficiencies in the care of diabetic patients have been revealed. These deficiencies may be overcome by disease-management-programmes (DMPs), but international experience shows that the effectiveness of DMPs is inconsistent. In particular large programmes designed by state-affiliated public health insurances have not been evaluated in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We are therefore conducting a large scale RCT of the Austrian DMP for type 2 diabetic patients in the province of Salzburg to evaluate the programme regarding its effects on metabolic control, guideline adherent care and the quality of life of diabetic patients. Methods/Design: The study is open for participation to all GPs and internists in the province of Salzburg. Physicians are randomized before recruitment of patients with the districts of Salzburg as clusters of randomisation. A total of over 1200 patients with type 2 diabetes will then be recruited. In the intervention group the DMP is applied for one year. Controls receive usual care. Endpoints are a decrease in HbAlc in the intervention group > 0,5% compared to controls, a higher percentage of patients with required diagnostic measures according to guidelines, improved cardiovascular risk profile and higher quality of life scores within one year. Current status of the study: 98 Physicians agreed to participate in the study. 96 of them recruited 1494 patients, 654 in the intervention and 840 in the control group. Trail Registration: This trial has been registered with Current Controlled Trials Ltd. (ISRCTN27414162).