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How are guidelines developed?

Our guidelines are developed by multidisciplinary working groups with representation from across Scotland, with support from the SIGN Executive. The guideline development groups are selected in consultation with the member organisations of SIGN Council.

Each guideline is based on a systematic review and critical appraisal of the current scientific literature. A detailed description of our methodology is given in, SIGN 50: A guideline developer's handbook. The handbook is updated regularly to take account of any changes in methodology

This means that the evidence base for the guideline is identified, selected, and evaluated according to a defined methodology. In this way, potential sources of bias in the guideline are minimised and the likely validity of the recommendations is maximised.

The guideline recommendations are explicitly linked to the supporting evidence. This provides groups of practitioners working in NHSScotland with information to help select and prioritise recommendations for local implementation, depending on local needs, priorities, and resources.

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