Process and methods

3 Who is involved in producing good practice guidance?

3.1 The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre

The Medicines and Prescribing Centre is part of NICE's Centre for Clinical Practice (CCP). The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre consists of a programme director, associate directors and clinical, technical, project and administrative staff. For good practice guidance, members of the NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre are responsible for:

  • developing and reviewing processes and methods to develop good practice guidance

  • identifying potential topics in accordance with the topic selection and prioritisation process (see Section_4)

  • overall developing of the good practice guidance, including identifying, selecting and critically appraising the evidence

  • identifying and liaising with stakeholders

  • providing quality assurance of the content of good practice guidance

  • ensuring agreed timelines and quality assurance standards are followed

  • reviewing and updating content of published good practice guidance if required.

For each topic selected, the NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre Programme Director and the Associate Director Medicines Advice identifies a project team that is responsible for working with the Guidance Development Group (GDG, see section 3.4) to deliver the output.

3.2 Other NICE teams

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre works closely with other NICE teams. The teams involved depend on the good practice guidance in production. NICE teams can include:

  • Evidence Resources

  • NICE Implementation team

  • Clinical Guidelines and Technology Appraisals

  • Quality Standards

  • Publishing team

  • Public Involvement Programme

  • External Communications

  • Information Services team.

Further detail of the role and functions of the NICE teams in relation to these outputs will be included within the process manual for good practice guidance.

3.3 Government departments and other public bodies

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre liaises with relevant government departments and public bodies such as the Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, Home Office, Local Authorities, NHS England and Public Health England as part of topic selection and defining the scope of good practice guidance. As key stakeholders, these organisations can also register to comment on the guidance during the consultation phase of the production process.

3.4 Guidance Development Group

A Guidance Development Group (GDG) of usually 15 to 25 people is established for each good practice guidance. Recruitment for the positions of chair, vice chair and members for each GDG follows NICE recruitment processes for committees and groups.

The chair, vice chair and members of each GDG may be drawn from the NHS, healthcare professionals, key stakeholders (including the pharmaceutical industry), social care, patients and carers, and academia. Members do not usually represent their organisation(s) and are selected for their expertise and experience.

All members of the GDG have equal status, which reflects the relevance and importance of their different expertise and experience. The GDG is the primary source of expertise to determine the content of the good practice guidance as defined within the scope.

The GDG considers the NICE project team's initial review of the existing evidence, confirming (or challenging) the appropriateness for inclusion within the guidance. The GDG also identifies potential additional evidence sources, and when needed calls for expert oral and written testimony. The GDG also determines the validity and application of such evidence with the NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre project team.

3.5 Stakeholders

Identifying and engaging with stakeholders is an important stage of the development process for good practice guidance. Organisations may register as a stakeholder to review draft guidance at a pre-defined stage of the process. Criteria for stakeholder registration are available on the NICE website for each guidance topic.

A list of potential stakeholders is compiled during the development of the guidance. This starts when a topic is formally selected. Potential stakeholders are notified of details of the process for registration, when appropriate.

NICE communicates the expected dates of consultation periods, indicating methods of access and feedback via the website and email alerts.

3.6 Conflicts of interest

NICE staff and members of the GDG are required to comply with the NICE code of conduct on conflicts of interest. For more information about how NICE deals with conflicts of interest, please see A code of practice for declaring and dealing with conflicts of interest.