twitter logo youtube logo

Propose a topic

Application process

Any group or individual can propose a guideline topic. Guideline topics are selected on the basis of burden of disease, the existence of variation in practice, and the potential to improve outcome.

To propose a topic please complete the proposal form (RTF), and return to the SIGN Executive, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB.

Only proposals with a completed Declaration of Interests for the principal proposer will be considered. Please read our Policy on Declaration of Competing Interests for further information. Once ratified proposals and Declarations of Interest will be available on the SIGN website until guideline development begins.

Topic Selection Process

Proposals are initially considered by the SIGN Executive senior management team. Proposals that are inappropriate for guideline development (eg standards, health technology appraisals or local protocols would be more suitable) are excluded.

We work with the proposer to further develop the proposal by carrying out scoping searches to gauge the quantity of supporting evidence and seeking additional relevant public health and epidemiological information and input from patient representatives.

Completed proposal forms are considered by the Guideline Programme Advisory Group (GPAG), a subgroup of SIGN Council . GPAG selects which proposals should be accepted for guideline development using the following criteria:

  • Areas of medical uncertainty as evidenced by wide variation in practice or outcome
  • Conditions where effective treatment is proven and where mortality or morbidity can be reduced
  • Iatrogenic diseases or interventions carrying significant risks or cost
  • Clinical priority areas for NHSScotland
  • he perceived need for a guideline, as indicated by a network of relevant stakeholders.

The prioritisation and selection undertaken by GPAG is discussed and ratified by SIGN Council.

If you have any queries, please contact Roberta James, SIGN Programme Lead. (tel: 0131 623 4735, e-mail

guidelines international network logo


HIS Healthcare Improvement Scotland logo