Develop a clinical guideline for endorsement

Clinical guidelines are a set of recommendations based on systematic research methods which require advanced research skills and project management. Guideline development follows specific sequential stages which require relevant stakeholder involvement at different stages throughout.

On this page:

What we do

The Clinical Standards Team produces RCPCH clinical guidelines and those commissioned by other organisations. We also support groups to produce high standards guidelines in view of RCPCH endorsement.

The RCPCH produces clinical guidelines to high standards in line with the methodology used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The College guideline development process, accredited by NICE since 2009 (sample logo below), is described in detail in the document, Setting Standards for Development of Clinical Guidelines in Paediatrics and Child Health (2016) (PDF, 8.14 MB, 49 pages).

NICE accreditation logo

The RCPCH also supports the development of paediatric clinical guidelines from third party organisations, enabling other organisations to produce guidelines to the highest quality in order to gain RCPCH endorsement (sample logo below). Endorsement from the College gives a paediatric clinical guideline the same status as those produced by RCPCH. 
RCPCH endorsed badge

If you are planning to develop a guideline

If you are planning to develop a clinical guideline that will qualify for RCPCH endorsement, please register your interest at the planning stage. This will facilitate meeting the set criteria for RCPCH endorsement.

Your application will be discussed at the Quality Improvement Committee (QIC), which meets four times a year.

Registration will allow to identify or confirm appropriate paediatric representation on your Guideline Development Group (GDG) and facilitate your understanding on the required developmental process and specific methodology from the beginning to facilitate RCPCH endorsement.

After your proposal is approved by the QIC, the Clinical Standards Team will:

  • register with your group as a stakeholder
  • help identify or confirm a RCPCH representative to sit at the GDG
  • coordinate the consultation on the scope and guideline draft among RCPCH members and related specialty groups
  • provide information regarding on the expected methodology and guideline development stages - methodological advice is available (fee may be applicable).

If you have started to develop a guideline

If you have already begun development of a clinical guideline and would like to know whether it will be eligible for RCPCH endorsement, please contact the clinical Standards team as soon as possible.

You will be asked to complete both:

The appraisal of a guideline requires a thorough assessment of its development process, and involvement by the Clinical Standards team from the outset is highly recommended to ensure the RCPCH criteria for endorsement is likely to be met.

Guideline development support process

  1. Register your intention to produce a paediatric guideline (RCPCH acknowledgement within 1 week)
    Please inform us of your intention to develop a paediatric clinical guideline by completing the application form and send back to
  2. Your proposal will be submitted to QIC for discussion (RCPCH QIC meetings are held every 3 months) 
    Please complete all sections of the proposal form. Decisions on proposals with incomplete information might suffer delays and forms might have to be resubmitted and deferred for discussion to the following QIC meeting. 
  3. If your proposal has been accepted by QIC, RCPCH will be formally registered as a stakeholder with your group (RCPCH decision from QIC meeting informed within 2-3 weeks)
    As a stakeholder, the College expects to be adequately represented during the guideline development, and scope and final guideline consulted among RCPCH members. 
  4. Identification/confirmation of paediatric representation (RCPCH call for experts within 2-3 weeks)
    If your guideline development group needs paediatric representation, the College will make a call for experts to identify a suitable member related to the topic of your guideline. If you have already identified a potential representative, please let us know and we will process the confirmation approval as formal College representation.
  5. Consultation of guideline scope (RCPCH consultation takes 3 weeks) 
    The scope of the clinical guideline is expected to be submitted for consultation before the guideline development starts. Please submit the scope to the Clinical Standards team who will coordinate a consultation among relevant RCPCH members and specialty groups. Comments received during the consultation are forwarded for your consideration and amendments are expected on the final scope.   
  6. Progress reports during guideline development (progress reports are expected to be submitted to RCPCH every 3 months) 
    Progress reports are expected to be submitted to the Clinical Standards team every three months and these will be submitted to the QIC for their information. 
  7. Ongoing appraisal at key guideline development stages (RCPCH feedback on appraisal assessments within 2-3 weeks of each submission)
    Guideline methodology assessment forms are to be submitted for appraisal at different developmental stages. The Clinical Standards team will contact you at different key stages to fill out specific sections of the form and a feedback appraisal summary will be provided (appraisals are based on meeting the criteria of the AGREE II tool (PDF, 1.96MB, 59 Pages).
  8. Consultation on the draft guideline (RCPCH consultation takes 3 weeks)
    The first draft will go through a two-week consultation among RCPCH members and relevant specialty groups. Responses received are then forwarded for your consideration.
  9. Final assessment before endorsement (RCPCH final check takes 1-2 weeks) 
    The appraisal before endorsement includes a final assessment on the methodology and whether responses from the RCPCH consultation had been adequately addressed. 
  10. Decision for endorsement 
    The endorsement of a clinical guideline requires approval from QIC after assessing recommendation from the Clinical Standards team. The decision for endorsement is based on whether the final clinical guideline has had College and paediatric involvement from the outset, has been developed to high methodological standards (meet criteria of the AGREE II tool (PDF, 1.96MB, 59 Pages), the guideline has gone through extensive consultation among experts (including the RCPCH) and comments received had been adequately addressed.