Clinical guidelines and standards published by RCPCH

The College produces evidence based guidelines and products which set standards for paediatric practice.

Guidelines with the NICE accreditation symbol have been produced in accordance with the Setting Standards for Development of Clinical Guidelines in Paediatrics and Child Health (PDF, 8335KB, 49 Pages). This process has been accredited by NICE.


The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Published: May 2015

This 2015 evidence-based review and guidance for best practice is a revision of the 2008 Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) publication 'The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse’.

Based on the best available evidence, it has been produced in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) and The Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM).

More about The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

The diagnosis of death by neurological criteria (DNC) in infants less than two months old

Published: April 2015


By request of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the RCPCH has updated the report, Diagnosis of brain stem death in infants and children: a working party report by the British Paediatric Association, originally published in 1991 by the British Paediatric Association.

A working group was convened to specifically produce recommendations on the diagnosis of death by neurological criteria (DNC) in infants from 37 weeks corrected gestation (post menstrual) to two months post term. 

The report provides recommendations for the diagnosis of DNC in infants following rigorous methodology to review the existing related literature.

More about the diagnosis of death by neurological criteria (DNC) in infants less than two months

The management of children and young people with an acute decrease in conscious level: A nationally developed evidence-based guideline for practitioners

Published: April 2015

NIC accredited logo

An update of the 2005 Management of a child with a decreased conscious level guideline, incorporating learning from the 2011 multi-site audit.

The guideline helps healthcare professionals to manage a child with a decreased conscious level in an acute setting, improve and standardise assessment, investigation and treatment, and reduce the risk of misdiagnosing and delayed lifesaving treatment.

  • Full guideline
  • Parent/carer guide
  • Implementation toolkit

More about the management of children and young people with an acute decrease in conscious level

Palate examination: Identification of cleft palate in the newborn     

Published: October 2014


The RCPCH, in collaboration with key partners, have developed a best practice guidance to aid healthcare professionals in the detection of cleft palate in neonates. The aim of the guidance is to aid neonatologists, paediatricians, nurses, midwives, GPs, health care assistants and any other health care professional to identify cleft palate in neonates, as well as to improve and standardise routine postnatal examination of the palate.

More about palate examination guideline and parent information

Pre-procedure pregnancy checking for under-16s

Published: November 2012

Determining pregnancy status in young female patients under 16 years of age is an area that clinicians may find difficult. This practical guide sets out the issues, risks and approaches that NHS organisations may consider when developing their policies in this area. 

More about pre-procedure pregnancy checking

Allergy care pathways

Published: June 2011

Allergic conditions constitute the commonest causes of chronic disease in childhood. They seriously impair quality of life and health and occasionally can lead to death. The College produced eight eight care pathways for children with allergies.

More about allergy care pathways, including leaflets and videos for families

Screening and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

Published: May 2008


This evidence-based guideline for the screening and treatment of ROP was developed by the RCPCH in collaboration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, British Association of Perinatal Medicine and the premature baby charity BLISS.

Full guideline - screening and treatment of ROP (PDF, 2.15MB, 94 pages)
Parent booklet - teatment of ROP (PDF, 646KB, 4 pages) 
Parent booklet - screening of ROP (PDF, 587KB, 4 pages)

Management of chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalopathy in children and young people

Published: December 2004

The aim of this guideline is to increase knowledge and understanding among paediatricians about CFS/ME in children and young people, to give paediatricians confidence in making a positive diagnosis, and to ensure that young patients with CFS/ME are managed optimally.

Full guideline - CFS/ME (PDF, 352KB, 120 pages)

RCPCH notes: The guideline has been post-dated by the NICE CFS/ME guideline although some sections may still be of relevance