Suggest a Guideline Topic
Any group or individual may propose a guideline topic to SIGN
form) (rtf format 96K).
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 (selection
- Completed application forms are 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).
- Following this initial screen the proposer will be asked to
develop a full proposal form (rtf
format 85K) in conjunction with SIGN. SIGN Executive will also
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.
- Completed proposal forms are then considered by the Guideline Programme Advisory
Group (GPAG), a subgroup of SIGN Council.
- 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 Clinical Excellence) in England and Wales, to
avoid potential duplication of effort.
- The prioritisation and selection undertaken by GPAG is discussed
and ratified at an annual topic selection meeting of SIGN Council.
Criteria for selection of topics for guideline
- 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
- 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
- The perceived need for a guideline, as indicated by a network
of relevant stakeholders.
Agreement by SIGN Council does not guarantee funding support for
development of the guideline. The proposed programme must be approved
by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, who provide the funding for
To propose a topic for SIGN-sponsored guideline development, please
complete the application form (rtf format 96K), and return to the SIGN Executive, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB. The full proposal
form (rtf format 85K) that must eventually be submitted to the
Guideline Programme Advisory Group can also be downloaded.
If you have any queries, please contact Roberta James, SIGN Programme Lead. (tel: 0131 623 4735, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).