Recommendations for Guidelines Production
In order to facilitate the process of guidelines development, the ESC has issued recommendations for guidelines production.
The recommendations cover the following topics:
- Introduction and Preamble
- Task Forces and Guidelines
- Associations, Working Groups, and Study Groups Documents
- Rules for Task Force Organisation
- Selection of Topics
- Task Force Creation
- Selection of Task Force Members
- Guideline Updates
- Rules for Guidelines Writing
- Evidence Gathering and Review
- Consensus Achievement
- Format of Documents
- Review Process
- Guidelines Endorsement and Translations
- Publication, Dissemination, and Implementation
- Appendix 1: The Rules for Translation of ESC Guidelines, ESC Pocket Guidelines and Guidelines Slide-sets by ESC National Societies and Joint Societies
- Appendix 2: ESC Guidelines development process
- Appendix 3: General Conditions of a Non-Disclosure Agreement
A great number of guidelines have been issued in recent years by different national and international organisations. However, this profusion of documents can endanger the authority and validity of guidelines, which can only be guaranteed if they have been developed by an unquestionable decision-making process. This is one of the reasons why the ESC and others have issued recommendations for formulating and issuing guidelines.
In spite of the fact that standards for issuing good quality guidelines are well defined, recent surveys of guidelines published in peer-reviewed journals have shown that methodological standards were not complied with in large numbers. It is therefore of great importance that guidelines and recommendations are presented in formats that are easily interpreted. It has become evident that application of guidelines improves the quality of clinical practice. Thus, implementation of the recommendations formulated in the guidelines is an integral part of the guidelines development process.