Background and study aims The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) recently issued a quality performance measures document for small bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE). The aim of this nationwide survey was to explore SBCE practice with ESGE quality measures as a benchmark. Patients and methods A dedicated per-center semi-quantitative questionnaire based on ESGE performance measures for SBCE was created by a group of SBCE experts. One-hundred-eighty-one centers were invited to participate and were asked to calculate performance measures for SBCE performed in 2018. Data were compared with 10 ESGE quality standards for both key and minor performance measures. Results Ninety-one centers (50.3 %) participated in the data collection. Overall in the last 5 years (2014-2018), 26,615 SBCEs were performed, 5917 of which were done in 2018. Eighty percent or more of the participating centers reached the minimum standard established by the ESGE Small Bowel Working Group (ESBWG) for four performance measures (indications for SBCE, complete small bowel evaluation, diagnostic yield and retention rate). Conversely, compliance with six minimum standards established by ESBWG concerning adequate bowel preparation, patient selection, timing of SBCE in overt bleeding, appropriate reporting, reading protocols and referral to device-assisted enteroscopy was met by only 15.5 %, 10.9 %, 31.1 %, 67.7 %, 53.4 %, and 32.2 % of centers, respectively. Conclusions The present survey shows significant variability across SBCE centers; only four (4/10: 40 %) SBCE procedural minimum standards were met by a relevant proportion of the centers ( ≥ 80 %). Our data should help in identifying target areas for quality improvement programs in SBCE.