Tools and resources

1 Introduction and overview

1 Introduction and overview

1.1 Information about the interim process and methods:

  • The interim process and methods are for the development, surveillance and updating of guideline recommendations developed in response to urgent requests from NICE's guideline commissioners to respond to national health and social care emergencies.

  • A national health and social care emergency refers to an event or circumstance that demands immediate action on a national level to preserve or protect the ability of the health and care sector to respond appropriately.

  • The interim process and methods are an update of the process and methods published on 20 March 2020 (PMG35) and will have a public consultation in 2021/22.

  • The interim process and methods only apply to developing guidelines in response to health and social care emergencies during and immediately after (recovery phase) the crisis.

  • During health and social care emergencies, urgent guidelines are needed within a few days to 2 to 3 weeks. The development time depends on the urgency of the referral, the complexity of the topic, the number of questions to be addressed, and the likely volume of evidence.

  • The short timeframe for guideline development in response to a health and social care emergency imposes trade-offs about shortening, omitting or accelerating the processes and methods used for developing standard NICE guidelines. However, transparency of decision-making and reporting is one of NICE's core principles underpinning the development of all NICE guidance and standards. It ensures that users can make judgements on the credibility and applicability of the guideline recommendations.

  • Independent advisory expert panels are convened to perform the role of the independent advisory committee in standard guidance development and update. NICE's policy on declaring and managing interests will apply to all panel members and NICE staff.

  • The main stages of development include scoping, identifying and appointing the independent advisory expert panel, conducting evidence reviews, drafting recommendations and consulting stakeholders. Because of the short development timeframe, some of these stages may be undertaken iteratively or in parallel. When the guidance is needed urgently, publication of guideline recommendations will be prioritised, with a possible delay in the publication of accompanying evidence reviews and supporting documents.

  • The interim process and methods described in this appendix should not be applied to the development, surveillance or updating of guidelines outside the context of health and social care emergencies.


This page was last updated: 17 July 2020