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About RCOG guidelines

The RCOG produces guidance in a range of series. The different types of guideline are explained below:

We also 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. For more information, please see the RCOG policy on endorsing documents from external orgnisations.


Best Practice Papers

Best Practice Papers are based on the latest evidence and are concise and user friendly. They are:

  • Fully peer-reviewed
  • Evidence based
  • Easy-to-use, adaptable tools
  • Set out the essential elements for improved clinical practice worldwide

The Best Practise Papers for Leading Safe Choices are based on existing RCOG, FSRH, FIGO, WHO and Jhpeigo materials and have been developed by a senior group of international experts drawn from RCOG senior fellows and partners.


Clinical Governance Advice

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 Advice documents are produced by the Guidelines Committee and the Professional and Clinical Standards Committee.

The RCOG has developed the Clinical Governance Advice series to assist Fellows and Members in discharging their clinical responsibilities.


Consent Advice

Consent is an important part of clinical practice and the RCOG Consent Advice series promotes 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.

The Consent Advice series needs to be read in conjunction with RCOG Clinical Governance Advice No. 6: Obtaining Valid Consent.

Please note: Although many of these documents were produced before the Montgomery ruling, they remain appropriate for use as part of the process outlined on our main consent page. The forms should be used to help record women’s understanding of the implications of the final agreed procedure.


Good Practice

Good Practice documents provide practical guidance to clinicians and managers on workplace issues identified through repeated requests from providers and managers of the service. They are produced by the Joint Standing Committee for Patient Safety.


Green-top Guidelines

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 following the process outlined in the handbook Developing a Green-top Guideline: Guidance for developers (PDF 2.4mb), under the direction of the RCOG Guidelines Committee. 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 Clinical 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. Some of these guidelines were produced by the National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health, which is based at the College.


Scientific Impact Papers

Scientific Impact 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.


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.


Contact us

If you have any questions, please email the Guidelines team at

To request access to archived guidelines, please email the Archives team at


Elsewhere on the site

RCOG guidelines
See all RCOG guidelines, including Green-top Guidelines, Scientific Impact Papers, Consent Advice and Clinical Governance Advice
RCOG Guidelines app
Available for iOS and Android, the RCOG Guidelines app contains all of the Green-top Guidelines plus a range of additional features