NICE gateway - getting involved

Reasons for involvement

By participating you are helping ensure that the RCN is the leading voice of nursing. You will help improve practice, influence health policies and develop your career. Your contribution will help ensure that the guidance includes the nursing perspective.

How you can take part

The RCN relies on members who have relevant expertise and are specialists in the topics under review to contribute to the NICE work programme. RCN Members participate by reviewing draft consultation documents or by applying to become members of the guideline development groups.

Guidance consultations

The RCN is a consultee/stakeholder for the NICE health technology appraisal, public health guidance, interventional procedures and national clinical guidelines work programmes. As part of this process the RCN is invited to participate in the development and review of draft guidance for implementation in the NHS. For further details visit current consultations.

Participation in this process will normally involve:

  • submitting comments on drafts to the project manager at the RCN
  • submitting evidence (where available)
  • being nominated as a specialist adviser to submit a personal perspective of the technology being reviewed.

Please email Caroline Rapu (caroline.rapu@rcn.org.uk), RCN Project Manager, if you would like to participate in any of the work programmes.

Guideline development

NICE commissions some of its guidelines from National Collaborating Centres hosted by Royal Colleges. There are four national collaborating centres:

In addition, NICE develops short clinical guidelines in-house. These are designed specifically to address clinical questions which do not meet the topic selection criteria for a traditional clinical guideline or technology appraisal, but nevertheless require guidance to be produced  - for further information see Developing NICE clinical guidelines.

How the process works

NICE advertises for recruitment of members of the guideline development groups (GDGs). The RCN circulates this call to relevant networks. Those interested are encouraged to apply to NICE or the National Collaborating Centre direct.

RCN members who are members of the GDG will be kept in the loop of the RCN’s contribution to the topic. To support the pre and post application process, the RCN offers to link applicants and new GDG members with past GDG members.

If you are selected as a group member you will be:

  • actively involved in the development of the guideline
  • required to attend monthly meetings
  • asked to review evidence and draft guidelines.

It takes between six to eighteen months to develop a clinical guideline. NICE reimburses travel expenses and subsistence incurred for attending the group meetings. Information about guideline development is available on the NICE website at Developing NICE clinical guidelines. See also Clinical guidelines in development.

NICE Fellowships and Scholarships

You can also apply for a NICE Fellowship or scholarship. This programme helps health care professionals, including nursing staff, gain valuable experience working with NICE. Places onto the programme are advertised annually.

For further information about the programme and details of current Fellows and Scholars see NICE Fellows and Scholars.

See also frequently asked questions about the programme.

What you get in return

Following the publication of the guidance, you will receive a formal letter and certificate from the RCN in recognition of your involvement. If you wish, the RCN can also formally write to your employers confirming your involvement. If you incur expenses through your involvement with the NICE work programme, for example travel expenses, you will be reimbursed.

You will have the opportunity to interact and network with other professionals involved in the work programme and you could be sponsored to attend the NICE annual conference.

RCN Members who have been involved in the NICE work programme consider it 'a rewarding and informative experience'. To read about individual experiences see stories.

Expectations and commitments

Members who volunteer to review the draft documents on behalf of the RCN will be sent the consultation documents when they are published. They then submit their comments to the RCN within specified timelines. These comments are used to formulate a response on behalf of the RCN. Communication is mostly via e-mail so access to an electronic system is essential.

Members who are involved in the consultation process can also recommend other RCN members who are experienced and specialists in the topics under consideration.

It is expected that participants will send comments that:

  • are accurate, timely and of high quality
  • reflect current issues in daily nursing practice and identify potential improvements for nursing and for patient care
  • are couched in neutral/professional language
  • are relevant (and restricted) to the current consultation stage.

You can read some stories from nurses who have been involved.

This page was last reviewed 9 April 2015.