The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists produce guidance in a variety of different series. The different types of guidelines are explained below.
Clinical governance is defined by the Department of Health as:
"a framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish". Clinical Governance guidance documents are produced by the Guidelines Committee and the Professional and Clinical Standards Committee.
The RCOG has developed the Clinical governance series to assist Fellows and Members in discharging their clinical responsibilities.
Consent is an important part of clinical practice and the RCOG series promote good practice in this area. The aim is to ensure that all patients are given consistent and adequate information for consent.
The documents follow the structure of the Department of Health/Welsh Assembly Government Consent Forms. The Consent documents are produced by the PSC
This Consent Advice series needs to be read in conjunction with the RCOG Clinical Governance Advice No 6: Obtaining valid consent.
These guidelines was produced under the direction of the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as an educational aid to obstetricians and gynaecologists. These guidelines does not define a standard of care, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. Variations of practice taking into account the needs of the individual patient, resources and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice may be appropriate. All Guidelines listed are current and remain so until replaced. Guidelines which have reached their review date will be reviewed and updated, if appropriate, based on new published evidence. Where a guideline is found to conflict with recently published evidence, the guideline will be removed and only republished once an update has occurred.
Good Practice Series
Good practice documents provide practical guidance to clinicians and managers on work place issues identified through repeated requests from providers and managers of the service. They are produced by the Professional and Clinical Standards Committee and Expert Groups.
Green-top guidelines provide systematically developed recommendations, which assist clinicians and patients in making decisions about appropriate treatment for specific conditions. Green-top guidelines are concise documents, providing specific practice recommendations on focused areas of clinical practice
The Green-top guidelines are produced under the direction of the Guidelines Committee of the RCOG. The recommendations are not intended to dictate an exclusive course of management or treatment. They must be evaluated with reference to individual patient needs, resources and limitations unique to the institution and variations in local populations. It is hoped that this process of local ownership will help to incorporate these guidelines into routine practice.
National Evidence-based Clinical Guidelines
National evidence-based guidelines provide systematically developed recommendations, which assist clinicians and patients in making decisions about specific conditions. They are detailed documents, providing recommendations on clinical and organisational aspects of a particular service.
Where available, guidelines are supplied in full as pdf files. Some of these guidelines were produced by the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health.
We link to a small number of guidelines produced by organisations outside the RCOG where we feel the content will be of benefit to visitors to this website. See the RCOG policy on endorsing documents from external orgnisations for more information.
Scientific Opinion Papers
These opinion papers advise on emerging or controversial scientific issues of relevance to obstetrics and gynaecology, together with the implications for future practice. These opinion papers are produced by the Scientific Advisory Committee .
Statements provide an overview of relevant evidence in areas that have some influence or effect on day-to-day clinical practice, e.g. birth in water, but do not provide specific recommendations. They can be produced by several committees e.g. GC, SAC, Joint documents with other Colleges.
Study Group: Consensus Statements
Consensus statements from study groups summarise the study group's discussions.
Working Party Reports
Working Party reports are deliberations of groups established specifically to address an area of service. The purpose is to produce guidance for those providing, managing and commissioning services.