Process and methods
12 Finalising and publishing the guidance
Once the consultation period has ended, the Guidance Development Group (GDG) meets to consider any changes needed to the guidance in response to the stakeholder comments received. Once the changes have been agreed, modifications are made to the guidance. The revised versions are then sent to NICE.
After review by NICE and liaison with the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care (NCCSC) to address any outstanding issues, all guidance versions are signed off:
An advance copy of the final guidance and responses to stakeholder comments made during the public consultation is sent to registered stakeholders 2 weeks before the publication date. This information is confidential until the guidance is published. This step allows stakeholders to prepare for publication, but it is not an opportunity to comment further on the guidance.
The guidance and adoption tools are published at the same time (see section 13).
Members of the NCCSC and GDG work with NICE to promote awareness of the guidance, both at the point of launch and afterwards.
NICE's communications lead will discuss with the NCCSC and GDG the most appropriate launch strategy for each piece of guidance. This may range from a press conference with the national press and media to a more targeted approach aimed at specialist or trade press.
If there is likely to be substantial media interest, a press conference is held 1 or 2 days before publication, usually at NICE's offices. This form of briefing allows for a more structured and considered exchange of information, where any potentially controversial aspects of the guidance can be explained and contextualised. It also provides journalists with an opportunity to interview people involved in development of the guidance and other commentators, and to prepare articles or broadcast pieces in advance.
Information provided to the media is confidential until the launch date for the guidance.
NICE's communications lead also ensures that relevant stakeholder organisations, such as practitioner and service user or carer organisations, are involved in the launch, if appropriate.
All GDG members are encouraged to provide details of case studies that can be used to illustrate some of the recommendations, because these are a good way of creating media interest.
The aim of the press briefing is to communicate key messages about the guidance to the press and media. The NCCSC or GDG may like to arrange separate events at which social care practitioners or providers can learn more about the guidance, or to showcase the guidance directly to peers. In such cases, the communications team at NICE should be involved at the earliest possible opportunity (see section 12.2).
NICE welcomes input from GDG members on how to identify groups of social care practitioners or providers and specialists who should be sent details of the guidance and adoption support tools. GDG members may also be able to identify other ways of raising awareness of the guidance and adoption support tools – for example, via newsletters, websites or training programmes of organisations they are affiliated to (particularly for service user and carer organisations), or by suggesting relevant conferences at which the guidance can be promoted.