The NICE glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of terms and jargon used on our site. The terms describe how we work and how our guidance is produced.
Our glossary excludes specific clinical and medical terms although we intend to include these in the longer term. If you cannot find the term you are looking for, please email us so that we can consider adding it to the glossary. New terms are added regularly.
The glossary is not used for indexing the site or for navigation - for information on this, please see the NICE taxonomy.
Some definitions and examples are based on those in the ‘HTAi consumer and patient glossary’, with thanks to Health Technology Assessment International.
- Target population
In NICE guidance, these are the people who the recommendations aim to benefit.
- Technical lead
The appraisals team member who has responsibility for the technical aspects of a technology appraisal. The technical lead drafts the overview (or premeeting briefing), the draft guidance (appraisals consultation document) and the revised guidance (final appraisal determination).
In NICE, 'technology' is used to mean a drug or other treatment that is being assessed.
- Technology Appraisal Committee (TAC)
NICE technology appraisal recommendations are prepared by an independent committee called the Technology Appraisal Committee. Committee members are appointed for a three-year term, and are drawn from: the NHS; patient and carer organisations; academia; pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. Although the Technology Appraisal Committee seeks the views of organisations representing health professionals, patients, carers, manufacturers and government, its advice is independent of any vested interests.
- Technology appraisal guidance (TA)
NICE technology appraisal guidance makes recommendations on the use of new and existing drugs and treatments in the NHS. If NICE recommends a drug or treatment for a particular condition, the NHS has to make it available for patients with that condition if it is suitable for them. Usually, this has to be done within 3 months of the guidance being issued.
Some technology appraisal guidance covers surgical procedures. If a procedure is recommended it should be made available in the NHS. This is different from interventional procedures guidance, which is about whether a procedure is safe and effective enough to be used routinely in the NHS.
- Tertiary care
Care for people requiring complex treatments. People may be referred for tertiary care from either primary care or secondary care.
This page was last updated: 15 April 2011