The Citizens Council is a panel of 30 members of the public that largely reflect the demographic characteristics of the UK. Councillors are recruited by an independent organisation and serve for up to three years.

Citizens Council reports

Following each meeting the Council submits a report to NICE's Board that may be used to inform the Institute's work

What is the role of the Citizens Council?

The Citizens Council provides NICE with a public perspective on overarching moral and ethical issues that NICE has to take account of when producing guidance. The Council's recommendations and conclusions are incorporated into our principles and, where appropriate, into NICE's methodology.

The Citizens Council does not produce NICE's guidance (such as for health, local government or social care services), nor does it input directly into any individual pieces of guidance that NICE produces. There are other mechanisms NICE uses for doing this.

How does the Council operate?

Members meet once a year for 2 days at a time and their discussions are arranged and run by independent facilitators. The meetings are open to public observers. During the meetings, Council members listen to different views from experts on a topic and undertake exercises which allow them to examine the issues in detail and thoroughly discuss their own views. The members' views and conclusions are captured by an independent rapporteur and the report is circulated to members for comment and amendment before finalising. After a meeting, the report is made available for public comment. A summary of these comments along with the report are then presented to NICE's board for discussion.

How are the topics chosen?

Potential topics usually arise as a result of the activities of NICE's advisory bodies during the guidance development process as they explore issues that require value judgements to be made.