The NICE Glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of terms used on our site. The terms describe how we work and how our guidance is produced.

Our glossary excludes specific clinical and medical terms. If you cannot find the term you are looking for, please email us so that we can consider adding it to the glossary.

Some definitions and examples are based on those in the 'HTAi consumer and patient glossary', with thanks to Health Technology Assessment International.

  • Generic name

    The general non-proprietary name of a drug or device.
  • Gold standard

    A method, procedure or measurement that is widely accepted as being the best available to test for or treat a disease.
  • GRADE (Grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation)

    A systematic and explicit approach to grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations.
  • Grading (of evidence)

    A means of indicating the quality of evidence.
  • Grey literature

    Literature that has not been formally published in sources such as books or journal articles.
  • Guidance

    See NICE guidance
  • Guidance Executive

    A committee made up of NICE executive directors, guidance centre directors and the communications director and implementation programme director. They consider and sign off guidance for publication, on behalf of the Board.
  • Guideline

    NICE guidelines are evidence-based recommendations on a range of broad topics, from preventing and managing specific conditions, improving health and managing medicines in different settings, to providing social care to adults and children, and planning broader services and interventions to improve the health of communities.
Get involved