Clinical guidelines are more likely to be used if they are evidence-based, rigorously produced, simple, flexible and perceived to be helpful. This means they can be adapted to local requirements and patient needs.
The validity of any clinical guideline is related to four important factors:
- composition of the Guideline Development Group (GDG) and its processes
- identification and appraisal of evidence
- method of guideline construction
- external peer review.
In 2016 we updated our 2006 process manual for guideline development, which was called RCPCH Setting standards for the development of clinical guidelines in paediatrics. The update was considered necessary to ensure reflection of current practice.
Aimed at individuals and/or organisations intending to develop a clinical guideline, it describes what constitutes a high quality guideline. It summarises the processes and methods used to develop and update a guideline, including information on grading evidence, consensus methods, dissemination and implementation.
The document has been accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) since 2006.