Hints and tips on responding to consultations

Maximize your impact with these quick tips developed by and for physiotherapy staff.

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To make your response more effective, be:

  • Clear
    Carefully structure your comment for clarity. Be clear about the point you want to make and what you would like the outcome of the change to be.
  • Specific
    Be specific about what aspect of the document you are commenting on. Clearly state what text you are referring to and where it appears in the text.
  • Constructive
    When making a negative comment, provide solutions. Explain exactly how the guideline could be improved, or what you would want it to say.
  • Reasoned
    Provide a rationale for your comment, with evidence if available.
  • Informed
    Be aware of the scope of the guideline when commenting. This includes guidance that is already available to avoid duplication of recommendations.
  • Positive
    If there is a recommendation that you agree with, express your agreement. It’s useful for guideline development groups to know if they are on the right track.
  • Useful
    Use your knowledge to help improve the guideline. Highlight any typos, inappropriate terminology or confusing recommendations.
  • Objective
    Use objective and respectful language. Try not to let your emotions lead to defensive or inflammatory language, remember this is a professional arena.
  • Concise
    Help the reader understand your comments. Keeping your comments concise will help make sure that your meaning is clear and keep the reader’s attention.
  • User friendly
    Avoid jargon in your response. The reader is unlikely to be a physiotherapist so make sure that the language you use is accessible to all.

* based on a workshop run at PhysiotherapyUK 2015 with representatives from NICE and SIGN. 

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