Endorsement of clinical practice guidelines Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To refine the process for endorsement of guidelines and establish the expectations of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) regarding the quality and relevance of clinical practice guidelines targeting family physicians and their patients. COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE: Initially, a group of 6 CFPC staff and selected College members reviewed the previous process for endorsement with the aim of providing a new direction, if needed. The work was then assumed by the Guideline and Knowledge Translation Expert Working Group, a purposefully selected group of 9 family physicians from across Canada with expertise in research, evidence, guidelines, knowledge translation, and continuing professional development and education. METHODS: The initial task force reviewed the endorsement process and identified areas for improvement. A draft new process and core criteria for high-quality guidelines were developed. This was approved by the CFPC board. A Guideline and Knowledge Translation Expert Working Group was then formed to further refine the process and the criteria. Multiple resources were used to inform the criteria. The Guideline and Knowledge Translation Expert Working Group will manage the endorsement process of external submitted guidelines, as well as provide high-level guidance to the CFPC regarding in-house guidelines and continuing professional development content. REPORT: This article provides the expectations of the CFPC regarding clinical practice guidelines and describes in detail the process and criteria for endorsement. Key principles include family physician involvement and guideline funding unlikely to introduce bias, with most criteria falling under 4 themed areas: relation to family medicine, CFPC values, patient engagement and decision making, and scientific rigour. The Guideline and Knowledge Translation Expert Working Group will report to the CFPC board at least once a year. It is hoped that this fully transparent process and these criteria will help advance the quality and standards of clinical practice guideline production in Canada. CONCLUSION: A comprehensive but reasonable list has been provided that reflects the best standards and recommendations and is consistent with the CFPC's values while recognizing the landscape of guideline development for its national partners and colleagues. As with all processes, careful consideration and evaluation will be essential.


  • Allan, G Michael
  • Aubrey-Bassler, Kris
  • Cauchon, Michel
  • Ivers, Noah M
  • Katz, Alan
  • Kirkwood, Jessica
  • Kuling, Peter James
  • Mang, Eric J
  • Moore, Simon
  • Safarov, Artem
  • Scrimshaw, Catherine
  • Shaw, Elizabeth
  • Stalker, Penelope
  • Woollard, Robert

publication date

  • July 2021