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Evidence-based Guidelines FAQs

August 2020

CAP Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center for Evidence-based Guidelines (Center)

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Guideline panel members can be identified in various ways: the Center volunteer data base, communications with CAP Councils and Committees, a review of authors who have publications in the area of interest, etc. Generally, 10-12 individuals serve on the EP and six serve on the AP; fewer or additional individuals can be appointed based on the complexity of the scope. If the guideline is being developed with a partnering organization, the EP is generally composed of an equal number of representatives from each organization. Wherever possible, the EP should consist of individuals from varied demographic backgrounds, practice settings, and subject matter expertise (basic/general knowledge to subject matter expert with several years of practice and experience). AP members are typically subject matter experts with several years of practice and experience.

The EP and AP members are a critical part of the guideline development team. The charge of the EP is to develop the evidence-based guideline, including full participation in the systematic review process. Detailed tasks include:

  • Participate in at least 50% of scheduled conference calls (approximately one monthly one-hour call, sometimes two - three per month during heavy production periods).
  • Attend at least one in-person expert panel meeting (approximately two over the course of the project).
  • Participate in the systematic review of the literature (including title-abstract, full-text, and data extraction) as assigned by the chair.
  • Draft the guideline recommendations/consensus statements.
  • Write/edit the manuscript and/or supplement as assigned by the chair.
  • Critically review and edit drafts of the manuscript/supplement.
  • Participate in the development of education and dissemination tools (could include speaker engagements).
  • Provide input regarding the guideline communication plan.
  • Maintain the guideline/consensus statement via periodic review and updating.

The charge of the AP is to assist the EP in the development of the guideline at key stages: scope development, review of the draft recommendations, and review of the guideline manuscript and supplement. Detailed tasks include:

  • Participate in scheduled conference calls at the request of the chair during key question development and final draft recommendations.
  • Provide feedback during the open comment period.
  • Participate in the review of the evidence and drafting of recommendations.
  • Review and edit the final manuscript as assigned by the co-chair.
  • Participate in the development of education and dissemination tools (could include speaker engagements).

The EP chair/co-chairs are approved by the CAP’s Council on Scientific Affairs Committee. The EP members are approved by the Center Guideline Committee. The AP members are approved by the EP chair/co-chairs.

The Center will keep the application form on file for a maximum of 2 years.

You will be notified by email for additional information to complete, including disclosures and conflict of interest, if you are included in the list of considered applicants. This is likely between six – 12 months from the submission of the application form. If you need a more detailed timeline that is specific to the guideline, please email center@cap.org.

Prior to acceptance on the expert or advisory panel, potential members are required to complete a disclosure form with the Center. The Center’s form is more stringent than the CAP Committee form. Center policy requires disclosure of all material financial interest in, or potential for benefit of significant value from, the guideline’s development or its recommendations 24 months prior through the time of publication. Any relationships that could be interpreted as constituting an actual, potential, or apparent conflict are required disclosures. Your disclosures are reviewed annually to ensure that there is no conflict during the development of the guideline. All the disclosures will be included as an appendix in the manuscript to ensure transparency.