Process and methods

10 Linking good practice guidance to other NICE publications

As more NICE guidance is published, the cross-linking with other NICE programmes and NICE Pathways becomes even more important. The following list provides an overview on the types of NICE guidance available:

  • Good practice guidance (GPG) provides advice and guides good practice for people involved in handling, prescribing, commissioning and decision-making about medicines.

  • Clinical guidelines focus on managing a particular disease or condition.

  • Technology appraisal guidance focuses on the clinical and cost effectiveness of 1 or more technologies, such as new drugs, surgical procedures and medical devices.

  • Interventional procedures guidance covers the safety and efficacy of interventional procedures used for diagnosis or treatment.

  • Public health guidance deals with promoting good health and preventing ill health.

  • Medical technologies guidance covers the efficacy and cost effectiveness of new or innovative medical technologies.

  • Diagnostics guidance covers the efficacy and cost effectiveness of new diagnostic technologies.

  • Social care guidance and quality standards are intended for use in conjunction with the frameworks and regulations already in place, providing practical support to help drive up the quality of adult and children's care.

10.1 Identifying appropriate publications

Clinical Guidelines and internal clinical guidelines are produced by the Centre for Clinical Practice, the same directorate that the GPG is produced under. The Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE develops technology appraisal, interventional procedures, medical technologies and diagnostics guidance. Public health guidance is produced by the Centre for Public Health Excellence. Details of the development processes and methods for other programmes can be found on the NICE website.

The scoping stage of the GPG identifies topics from other programmes that are relevant to the GPG being developed.

This section deals with the approaches that are taken when:

  • guidance from another programme has already been published and needs to be incorporated into the GPG

  • a relevant piece of guidance from another programme is being developed concurrently.

10.2 Rationale and documentation for inclusion and exclusion

When newly commissioned GPG covers a topic or area for which there is 1 or more previously published related guidance, there are 2 possible approaches:

  • the published guidance is incorporated verbatim into the GPG

  • the GPG cross refers to the published guidance.

When recommendations from published guidance are incorporated into a GPG, they should usually be reproduced unchanged. Under exceptional circumstances where suggested changes to recommendation wording are proposed (for example, if the recommendation covers both primary and secondary care, but the guidance recommendation is concerned with secondary care only), the proposed change to the wording must be discussed with the relevant NICE programme team and agreed by NICE Guidance Executive. This should be done on a case-by-case basis.

The NICE project team checks for both published and 'in development' NICE guidance during the scoping process and literature review.