Our methods and processes (health technology evaluation manual)

Our health technology evaluation manual covers:

  • how we choose medicines and other health technologies to evaluate (topic selection)
  • the steps and stages in each evaluation (our processes)
  • how we collect and consider evidence (our methods).

Current methods and processes

Our current methods and processes are used for all evaluations starting from 1 February 2022.

What changed and why

We made changes to streamline and improve the way we carry out health technology evaluation. We produced a single guidance development manual, covering:

  • diagnostic assessment
  • highly specialised technologies
  • medical technologies evaluation
  • technology appraisal.

We also developed a new topic selection manual.

Changes we made

We made a broad range of improvements to how we evaluate health technologies, including:

  • We now give more weight to health benefits in the most severe conditions. We made this change because evidence shows that people in the UK value access to treatments for the most severe diseases.
  • We've adopted a new approach to the evidence we consider in our assessments.
  • We allow more flexibility for NICE’s independent committees in cases when generating evidence is difficult.
  • We’ve adopted a clearer vision, principles and routing criteria for treatments for very rare diseases in our Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) Programme.
  • We aligned our methods and processes across different types of evaluations. This ensures that the way we evaluate health technologies is pragmatic, agile and robust, while also being adaptable.