Public health guidance makes recommendations for populations and individuals on activities, policies and strategies that can help prevent disease or improve health. The guidance may focus on a particular topic (such as smoking), a particular population (such as schoolchildren) or a particular setting (such as the workplace).

List of public health guidelines

NICE public health guidance is aimed at public health professionals and practitioners and others with a direct or indirect role in public health within the NHS, local authorities and the wider public, voluntary, community and private sectors.

Developing NICE public health guidelines

An overview of the development process.

  1. Topic selected

    The topic is referred to NICE by the Department of Health based on recommendations from the public health topic advisory workshop.

  2. Stakeholders register interest

    Potential stakeholders are asked to register an interest. Stakeholders may include national organisations representing professionals, research and academic institutions, industry and special interest groups from the general public. Stakeholders are consulted throughout the guidance development process.

  3. Scope prepared

    The scope sets out what the guidance will - and will not - cover. After a 4 week consultation period the scope is finalised.

  4. Evidence reviewed

    Typically, several evidence reviews and an economic analysis are undertaken.

  5. Call for evidence

    Registered stakeholders may be asked to submit evidence at any time during the development stage.

  6. Draft guidance prepared

    Public Health Advisory Committees (PHACs) are the standing committees responsible for the development of NICE public health guidance. Each PHAC consists of a Chair, core and topic expert members. The PHAC considers the evidence and develops draft guidance.

  7. Consultation on the draft guidance

    The draft guidance (containing all of the recommendations and details of how they were developed) is issued for a 6 week consultation with stakeholders. At the same time, stakeholders can comment on the evidence that the draft guidance is based on.

  8. Fieldwork carried out

    The draft guidance is sometimes field tested at the same time that it is out for consultation. A series of fieldwork meetings may be held with professionals, practitioners and commissioners (as appropriate) not previously involved in developing the guidance. The fieldwork report is considered by the public health advisory committee.

  9. Final guidance produced

    The public health advisory committee considers the comments from the stakeholder consultation (and the fieldwork report if applicable) and makes appropriate changes to the guidance.

  10. Guidance issued

    NICE formally approves the final guidance before it is published.

Useful documents

The process and methods guides describe how NICE develops public health guidance, and provide advice on technical aspects of development. The guides have been updated following public consultation in 2011, and the third editions of these documents were published in September 2012.

The Process and Methods guides for public health are based on a conceptual framework.

Register as a stakeholder

Public health guidelines static list

Some public health guidelines are not updated as often as the rest of NICE's public health guidelines. They are placed on a 'static list' and undergo surveillance less often.

View the static list

Get involved

Find out more about the Public Health Advisory Committee, including how to attend a meeting.
Get involved