We use three processes for assessing technologies: the single technology appraisal, the multiple technology appraisal and the fast track appraisal.

Single technology appraisal (STA)

This is a technology appraisal that assesses a single drug or treatment.

When it's used

We use the STA process for new technologies - usually new pharmaceutical products or license extensions for existing products. We also use it for reviews of some published appraisals.

This process enables us to produce guidance soon after the technology is introduced in the UK.

We updated our STA process in April 2018. Single technology appraisals developed from April 2018 onwards will use the updated process. Appraisals that started development before April 2018 will use the pre-April 2018 single technology appraisal process.

Single technology appraisal timeline

View a step-by-step guide to our STA process

preview of the single technology appraisal timeline page

Multiple technology appraisal (MTA)

This is a technology appraisal that assesses several drugs or treatments used for one condition.

When it's used

We use this if a new topic for an appraisal is particularly complex and not suited for the single technology appraisal process. It's also used for reviews of published appraisals.

Multiple technology appraisal timeline 

View a step-by-step guide to the MTA process

preview of the multiple technology appraisal timeline page

Fast track appraisal (FTA)

On 1 April 2017 we introduced a fast-track appraisal for technologies that offer exceptional value for money. 

The aim is to provide quicker access for patients to the most cost-effective new treatments.

When it's used

A technology will be appraised through the FTA process if:

  • The company's base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is less than £10,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.
  • It is likely that the most plausible ICER is less than £20,000 per QALY gained, and it is highly unlikely that it is greater than £30,000 per QALY gained.


  • A cost comparison case can be made that shows it is likely to provide similar or greater health benefits at similar or lower cost than technologies already recommended in technology appraisal guidance for the same indication.

If a positive recommendation is made through the FTA process, NHS England commissioners have committed to providing funding for the technologies within 30 days of guidance publication.