How we select topics

We use the quality standards topic library to choose the topics for development.

We produce a shortlist each September, then finalise it with the relevant commissioning bodies:

  • healthcare topics - NHS England
  • public health topics - Department of Health and Public Health England
  • social care topics - Department of Health and Department for Education.

They also refer a small number of new topics to us.

How we prioritise topics

1. We prepare a longlist of topics each year, in August.  This includes:

Besides the longlist, we also:

  • identify standards already in development which are scheduled to publish in the next year
  • determine the capacity for development.

2. We then create the shortlist. Topics are shortlisted if they:

  • were previously identified as high priority 
  • align with national priorities
  • could impact on the outcomes frameworks in healthcare, public health and social care
  • relate to:
    • a significant burden of care and/or illness
    • premature mortality
    • reduced quality of life.

We discuss both lists with:

  • NHS England domain directors (plus National Clinical Directors where available) - healthcare topics
  • Department of Health and Public Health England public health policy leads - public health topics
  • Department of Health and Department for Education policy leads - social care topics

We consider the balance between clinical, social care and public health topics, review amendments and agree final proposals.  These are then agreed at a further joint meeting. 

Reviewing published quality standards

We review all published quality standards annually.

There are 3 possible decisions:

  • Alignment of the quality standard to updated source guidance
  • Full update to reflect:
    • changes in the areas for quality improvement
    • new NICE or NICE accredited guidance
    • new national priorities
  • Make no changes.

We make an initial review decision for each published quality standard. During the annual prioritisation process, commissioners make a final decision on updating a quality standard.

Find out more about the most recent review:

2017 quality standards review report (pdf)  

E-mail us with evidence of achievement if you think a standard needs updating:

We consider all comments as part of the annual review process.