The NICE glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of terms and jargon used on our site. The terms describe how we work and how our guidance is produced.
Our glossary excludes specific clinical and medical terms although we intend to include these in the longer term. If you cannot find the term you are looking for, please email us so that we can consider adding it to the glossary. New terms are added regularly.
The glossary is not used for indexing the site or for navigation - for information on this, please see the NICE taxonomy.
Some definitions and examples are based on those in the ‘HTAi consumer and patient glossary’, with thanks to Health Technology Assessment International.
The extent to which the results of a study hold true for groups that did not participate in the research. See also external validity.
- Gold standard
A method, procedure or measurement that is widely accepted as being the best available to test for or treat a disease.
- Gray/grey literature
Reports that are unpublished or have limited distribution and are not included in bibliographic retrieval systems. Examples include conference proceedings, academic reports, newsletters and industry and technical reports.
Recommendations produced by NICE for the NHS and other organisations. There are four types of guidance: clinical guidelines, interventional procedures guidance, public health guidance and technology appraisals guidance. Draft versions are produced for all NICE guidance. These are revised after a consultation with manufacturers and organisations representing patients and carers and healthcare and other professionals. We also publish a range of supporting documents for each piece of guidance, including:
- a quick reference guide for professionals
- a booklet called 'Understanding NICE guidance', which summarises the guidance in plain English for patients and carers (for all types of guidance except public health guidance)
- reviews of the evidence that the guidance is based on
- practical advice on how to put the guidance into practice, and on its costs.
- Guidance Executive
NICE directors who approve all NICE guidance for publication.
- Guideline Development Group (GDG)
A group of healthcare professionals, patients, carers and technical staff who develop the recommendations for a clinical guideline. The national collaborating centre responsible for developing the guideline recruits a guideline development group to work on the guideline. National collaborating centre staff review the evidence and support the guideline development group. The group writes draft guidance, and then revises it after a consultation with organisations registered as stakeholders.
- Guideline recommendation
Course of action advised by the guideline development group on the basis of their assessment of the supporting evidence.
- Guideline review panel
A panel of independent experts who comment on the draft scope for a clinical guideline and check the full guideline. The panel pays particular attention to how the guideline development group has responded to comments received during consultation. The members include healthcare professionals, and representatives of the drug industry and patients.
- Guidelines commissioning manager
The NICE staff member with responsibility for managing the development of a particular clinical guideline.
This page was last updated: 15 April 2011