Suggest a Guideline Topic

Any group or individual may propose a guideline topic to SIGN.

Application Forms

To propose a topic for SIGN-sponsored guideline development, please complete the proposal form, and return to the SIGN Executive, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB.

Only proposals with a completed Declaration of Interests for the principal proposer will be considered. Please read our Policy on Declaration of Competing Interests for further information. Once ratified proposals and Declarations of Interest will be available on the SIGN website until guideline development begins.

If you have any queries, please contact Roberta James, SIGN Programme Lead. (tel: 0131 623 4735, e-mail


Comments on important new evidence in the field that would update any published SIGN guideline are welcome. All comments are considered, either for immediate response or for more detailed consideration on review of the guideline.

To comment on a published guideline please complete a small change proposal form, and return to the SIGN Executive. Once received small change proposals are processed in the same way as full proposals.

Current TOPiC proposals

This table shows the status of topic proposals currently being considered by SIGN. Further information on scoping and the decisions made at each step of the process are recorded on the proposal form. The table was last updated in May 2016.

Topic Proposer Request type Stage Proposal
Prevention and treatment of patients with episodic and chronic migraine David Watson New topic Accepted Migraine proposal
Early Diagnosis and support of children with fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome disorder Patricia Jackson New topic Accepted FASD proposal
Metastatic breast cancer SIGN 134 guideline development group New topic Accepted Metastatic breast cancer proposal
SIGN 54: Perioperative blood transfusion for elective surgery Douglas Watson Refresh Scoping SIGN 54 periop blood transfusion proposal
SIGN 85: Management of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder Jon Coldewey Refresh Scoping SIGN 85 bladder cancer proposal
Thyroid and adrenal testing and treatment Anne Peat, Lorraine Cleaver New Scoping Thyroid proposal
Delirium Karen Goudie New topic Scoping Delerium proposal
SIGN 109: Management of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection Gareth Brown Refresh Screening SIGN 109 chlamydia proposal
ADHD in adults Richard Jones New topic Screening ADHD in adults proposals
Harmful drinking Joyce O'Hare New topic Screening Harmful drinking proposal
SIGN 81: Epilepsy in children Karyn Robertson Refresh Screening SIGN 81 epilepsy in children
SIGN 108: Endovascular therapy for stroke Jonny Downer Refresh Screening SIGN 108 thrombectomy proposal
SIGN 108: Management of patients with stroke or TIA: assessment, investigation, immediate management and secondary prevention Paul Syme Refresh On hold SIGN 108 acute stroke proposal
SIGN 122: Prevention and management of venous thromboembolism Alison Hunter Refresh On hold SIGN 122 VTE proposal

principles of Topic Selection

Guideline topics are selected for inclusion in the core programme on the basis of burden of disease, the existence of variation in practice, and the potential to improve outcome.

Topic Selection Process

  1. Completed proposal forms are initially considered by the SIGN Executive senior management team. They will exclude any proposals that are inappropriate for guideline development (eg where the development of standards, health technology appraisals or local protocols would be more suitable).
  2. Following this initial screen the proposer will be asked to further develop the proposal in conjunction with SIGN. The SIGN Executive will undertake scoping searches, to gauge the quantity of supporting evidence, and will seek additional relevant public health and epidemiological information and input from patient representatives.
  3. Completed proposal forms are then considered by the Guideline Programme Advisory Group (GPAG), a subgroup of SIGN Council.
  4. GPAG use the criteria outlined below to select which proposals should be accepted for guideline development. Healthcare Improvement Scotland is represented on GPAG to ensure that, wherever possible, SIGN’s programme is complementary to the development of standards and health technology appraisals. GPAG also considers the work programmes of other guideline developers, in particular guidelines that have been commissioned by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) in England and Wales, to avoid potential duplication of effort.
  5. The prioritisation and selection undertaken by GPAG is discussed and ratified at a meeting of SIGN Council.

The following criteria are considered by GPAG when assessing proposals:

Criteria for selection of topics for guideline development

  • Areas of medical uncertainty as evidenced by wide variation in practice or outcome
  • Conditions where effective treatment is proven and where mortality or morbidity can be reduced
  • Iatrogenic diseases or interventions carrying significant risks or cost
  • Clinical priority areas for NHSScotland: presently, coronary heart disease and stroke, cancer and mental health. The strategic aims of the NHS in Scotland are also considered: improving health and tackling inequalities, especially with regard to children and young people, developing primary and community care and reshaping hospital services
  • The perceived need for a guideline, as indicated by a network of relevant stakeholders.

Funding for guideline development

Agreement by SIGN Council does not guarantee funding support for development of the guideline. The funding for the SIGN guideline programme is approved and provided by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.



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