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Developing NICE public health guidance

This is a brief summary of the process NICE uses to develop public health.

For a list of guidance currently in development see public health guidance in development.

The public health guidance process

1. Topic selected

The topic is referred to NICE by the Department of Health based on recommendations from the public health topic advisory workshop, find out more.

2. Stakeholders register interest

Potential stakeholders are asked to register an interest. Stakeholders may include national organisations representing professionals, research and academic institutions, industry and special interest groups from the genera public. Stakeholders are consulted throughout the guidance development process.

3. Scope prepared

The scope sets out what the guidance will - and will not - cover. After a 4 week consultation period the scope is finalised.

4. Evidence reviewed

Typically, several evidence reviews and an economic analysis are undertaken.

5. Call for evidence

Registered stakeholders may be asked to submit evidence at any time during the development stage.

6. Draft guidance prepared

The public health advisory committee considers the evidence and develops draft guidance. Read more about Public Health Advisory Committees.

7. Consultation on the draft guidance

The draft guidance (containing all of the recommendations and details of how they were developed) is issued for a 6 week consultation with stakeholders. At the same time, stakeholders can comment on the evidence that the draft guidance is based on.

8. Fieldwork carried out

The draft guidance is sometimes field tested at the same time that it is out for consultation. A series of fieldwork meetings may be held with professionals, practitioners and commissioners (as appropriate) not previously involved in developing the guidance. The fieldwork report is considered by the public health advisory committee.

9. Final guidance produced

The public health advisory committee considers the comments from the stakeholder consultation (and the fieldwork report if applicable) and makes appropriate changes to the guidance.

10. Guidance issued

NICE formally approves the final guidance before it is published.

Public health guidance scoped before September 2012 was developed using the Public Health Intervention Guidance Process and the Public Health Programme Guidance Process.

Public health advisory committees

Public health advisory committees (PHACs) are the standing committees responsible for the development of NICE public health guidance. Each PHAC consists of a Chair, core and topic expert members. NICE has multiple PHACs in operation at any one time. Guidance topics are allocated to a PHAC following referral from the Department of Health. The allocated PHAC considers the evidence and makes recommendations for people working in the NHS, local government and in the wider public, private and voluntary sectors. Members are drawn from the NHS, local government, healthcare professions, academia and the wider public health community.

Further information

This page was last updated: 07 February 2014

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.