National evidence-based guidance

Who produces evidence-based guidance relevant to physiotherapy?

Guidance in the UK originates from three main sources:

  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  2. Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network
  3. Profession-specific guidance

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) whose role is to develop national guidance and quality standards to improve health and social care, and encourage healthy living.

NICE is accountable to its sponsor, the Department of Health, but is independent of government. The Department of Health commissions NICE to organise the development of:

Your views needed

Find further details about any current consultations  to which the CSP is formulating a response to in our feedback section: share your expertise in guideline development.

  • Clinical guidelines
  • Diagnostics guidance
  • Interventional procedures guidance
  • Medical technologies guidance
  • Public health guidance

Further details on NICE, and access to their guidance, can be found on their website:

NICE invites interested parties to sign up as stakeholders. The CSP encourages its professional networks to do this for topics of relevance to its members and for which it can justify its national expertise.

The CSP information paper Engaging with NICE: a how-to guide for CSP members provides further information on this. And please contact the CSP's guidelines team via email: if you have any further queries.

Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) develop evidence based clinical practice guidelines for Scotland.

SIGN are part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland and focus solely on producing clinical guidelines. See their website for a full list:

There are many similarities between NICE and SIGN in the development of guidelines, and the two organisations aim to build on each other’s work rather than duplicating work that has previously been undertaken.

SIGN holds national open meetings to promote the preliminary guideline conclusions and draft recommendations to a wider audience who then have the opportunity to feedback any comments on the draft guideline. The CSP encourages members to attend these open meetings for topics of relevance and impart their expertise on the topic.

For further information, see the CSP information paper 'How to' guide for engaging with SIGN. And please contact the CSP's guidelines team via email: if you have any further queries.

Profession-specific guidance

Evidence-based guidance is also produced by specific professions and condition or system-specific charities and organisations.

All guidance should be read critically, regardless of who has produced it. Readers should pay particular attention to how the guidance has been developed, and importantly, the quality of the evidence that the guidance is based on.

An internationally recognised template for the appraisal of guidance, the AGREE II instrument can be used to help readers critique how robust and transparent the methods for producing guidelines have been: access the AGREE II instrument (PDF download).

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