The NICE accreditation is the gold standard for guideline producers in UK healthcare as it enables users to identify the most trusted sources of guidance, developed using critically evaluated high quality processes.
We are now accredited until February 2023 and will use the NICE kitemark on all guidelines to that point. NICE will continue to support and advise us on maintaining and improving our top quality processes.
There are many charities making up the rheumatology and musculoskeletal community in the UK – everyone keen to distinguish themselves in some way. Whilst some of these produce guidelines, we are unique in our accreditation; we will also remain unique as NICE has closed the application process for new guideline producers.
We achieved accreditation for the first time in 2013 and this has been renewed after another round of evidence provision and rigorous assessment. They reviewed all aspects of our guideline work and how it translates into the documents we publish.
There are 25 criteria in the assessment and we fully met 92%, demonstrating that our process leads to the most robust, evidence-based recommendations for practice. Members see our guidelines as a key benefit as they are the primary driver for improving practice and patient care in healthcare in rheumatology.
Prof Ian Giles, Consultant Rheumatologist, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of our Standards, Audit and Guidelines Working Group, which oversees our guidelines processes, says: "Members consistently place our Guidelines at the top of the list of the most valued output from the society.
"Annual metrics from Rheumatology journal clearly show that various guidelines are consistently amongst the top 10 most highly cited and downloaded articles. I have been involved as a lead of one guideline and peer review of seven others so can testify to the rigour of the production and review process that ensures the final products are of high quality and provide clinical utility for members and healthcare professionals from all around the world. This renewal of NICE accreditation is an important recognition of the worth of our guidelines."