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Appendix C: Key roles and responsibilities of committee members

Appendix C: Key roles and responsibilities of committee members

The committee chair

The committee chair is required to attend a specific induction session (see section 3.7 of the manual) ideally before guideline committee meeting number 1.

The chair needs an understanding of NICE's guideline development process, and may have some background knowledge about the guideline topic but should not have any direct interests (in accordance with the NICE declarations of interest policy) that relate to the areas within the scope of the guideline. The chair signs off the equality impact assessment at scoping and final guideline stages. The chair ensures that the committee takes full account of the evidence in developing recommendations and considers the analysis and interpretation of the evidence prepared by the developer. Shortlisting and interviews of committee members will be undertaken by the committee chair or vice-chair.

To facilitate the effective working of the committee, the chair:

  • may be involved in developing the scope and setting boundaries for the work

  • helps to plan the committee meetings

  • runs the committee according to the principles set out in the Terms of Reference and Standing Orders

  • establishes a climate of trust and mutual respect among members

  • provides opportunities for all members, including members with additional needs, to contribute to the discussions and activities of the committee.

The chair also gives committee members if requested feedback and comment, on an annual basis, on their contribution for revalidation purposes or personal development. The chair is given feedback and comment on their own contribution on an annual basis from a senior member of NICE staff if requested. The developer may also provide feedback on an ongoing basis or as required.

All committee members

Committee members are expected to:

  • Review and abide by the Terms of Reference and Standing Orders for guideline committees.

  • Contribute constructively to meetings and have good communication and team-working skills; this should include a commitment to considering the needs of people using services, family members and carers.

  • Use their background knowledge and experience of the guideline topic to advise the developer on carrying out systematic reviews and economic analyses.

  • Read all relevant documentation and make constructive comments and proposals at (and between) committee meetings.

  • Work with the developer and other members of the committee to develop, prepare and write the rationales for the recommendations.

  • Work with the developer and other members of the committee to write up the committee's discussion of the evidence.

  • Work with other members of the committee to develop recommendations based on the evidence or on consensus if evidence is poor or lacking.

  • Help ensure that the guideline as a whole, and particularly the recommendations, is worded sensitively (for example, that people using services or population groups are treated as people, not as objects of assessments or interventions).

  • Advise the developer on how to identify best practice in areas for which research evidence is absent, weak or equivocal.

  • Consider, with other members of the committee, the feasibility of the recommendations and highlight any potential implementation issues to NICE. This may provide contextual information or inform resource impact assessment and potentially other implementation activity, including the identification of examples from practice or external support resources to assist people using the guideline (see chapter 12 of the manual).

  • Agree, with other members of the committee, the minutes of committee meetings.

Committee members are not routinely expected to:

  • carry out review of the evidence

  • search the literature

  • write up the evidence.

Additional roles for lay members of committees

Lay members of the committee have the same roles and responsibilities as other committee members, but they are also often able to offer specific expertise to:

  • help ensure that review questions include issues that are important to people using services, their family members and carers, or the community affected by the guideline

  • raise awareness of grey literature (for example, surveys of people using services) that highlights issues that may be relevant to the work of the committee

  • indicate the extent to which published evidence has measured and taken into account outcomes that are considered important by people using services, their family members and carers, or the community affected by the guideline

  • highlight areas where the guideline may need to acknowledge the choice and preferences of people using services, their family members and carers, or the community affected by the guideline

  • help ensure that recommendations address issues and concerns of people using services, their family members and carers, and the public (where relevant)

  • advise on the practicality of implementing the guideline (for example, medicines adherence).


This page was last updated: 31 October 2018