Process and methods

2 Good practice guidance

2.1 Aims

The aim of good practice guidance is to provide recommendations for good practice for people who are involved in governing, prescribing and commissioning medicines, and those involved in decision-making about medicines. The content of the good practice guidance is developed according to the best available evidence. The guidance aims to be thorough, effective and appropriate to the target audience, with an emphasis on the implications for national practice.

2.2 Scope of good practice guidance

Good practice guidance allows NICE to develop guidance based on evidence relating to medicines and prescribing. Good practice guidance considers broad topics covering the systems, processes and governance arrangements relating to medicines. The guidance has a wide range of audiences across both health and social care environments.

2.3 Key audiences

Good practice guidance is developed for a wide range of audiences including:

  • patient-facing practitioners

  • local medicines optimisation services

  • NHS organisations

  • local authorities

  • NHS-commissioned services provided by non-NHS organisations, such as:

    • independent organisations, for example independent hospitals

    • independent contractors, for example community pharmacies

    • voluntary and charitable agencies, for example hospices.

2.4 Key activities

The key activities for the production of good practice guidance are:

  • topic selection

  • identifying and selecting the most relevant evidence from a range of evidence sources

  • summarising the evidence

  • critically reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence

  • synthesising evidence in the context of good practice

  • using evidence to formulate recommendations and validate them.