NICE process and methods

3 Principles of the interim surveillance process and methods

3 Principles of the interim surveillance process and methods

Given the number of guidelines that will make up the library of guideline topics, the number of surveillance reviews needed will be considerable. To address this, the new surveillance process and methods are more streamlined. The process is more adaptive, with a less resource-intensive surveillance at the 2-year, 6-year and 10-year time points, and a more thorough methodology at 4 and 8 years. At the same time, the threshold for proposing an update is reduced – that is, smaller rapid updates can be carried out. Overall, more surveillance reviews will be conducted using this model of 2-year intervals, but the most resource-intensive type of review will occur less often than before.

The interim surveillance process broadly relies on assessing 2 elements that influence the decision to update a published guideline:

  • intelligence gathering on the perceived current relevance of the guideline (from a variety of sources, such as Guideline Development Group (GDG) questionnaires and topic searches by the NICE Information Services team) and

  • primary or secondary evidence that has been published since guideline publication (which will be informed by the first element).

The surveillance review at each time point will be based on a cumulative assessment of all evidence published since guideline publication.

Although surveillance reviews are not formal NICE guidance and so are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as other NICE products, the underlying principles of transparency of process and methodological rigour still apply.