Background: The Standards and Guidelines Evidence (SAGE) directory of cancer guidelines is a resource designed to facilitate evidence-based clinical practice, policy formation, and guideline adaptation, and reduce duplication in guideline development. Methods: Developed in 2008, SAGE is a publically available (www.cancerview.ca/sage), searchable database of English language cancer control guidelines and standards released since 2003. Qualifying guidelines in SAGE are rated using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) tool. These ratings can be used to measure trends in guideline quality. SAGE also documents guideline development status, including current guidelines, guidelines in progress, those in need of an update and guidelines undergoing updates. Results: SAGE contains over 1,900 indexed records from 271 developer organizations spanning 27 countries and international jurisdictions. There is considerable variability in guideline quality both within and across guideline developers, and AGREE II quality domains of applicability and editorial independence are the poorest performing. SAGE has the ability to provide information on guideline topic gaps and overlap, demonstrating that the majority of guidelines target breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers, and focus on the treatment stage of the cancer control continuum. This provides a channel of communication amongst organizational groups and facilitates guideline development partnerships. Conclusions: The value-add of SAGE to mitigate inconsistencies in guideline quality is the appraisal component of its records. It is the ultimate goal that SAGE will continue to assist efforts to leverage positive change in the field of practice guidelines, patient care and system performance in cancer control.