Public consultation is a process by which the public's input on matters affecting them is sought.
When developing clinical practice guidelines a complete revision of the whole guideline or individual topic pages will be available as a draft for public consultation.
Submissions are invited from the general public, professional societies and groups, and other relevant stakeholders. Relevant professional societies and groups, consumer groups and other relevant stakeholders are notified in advance of public consultation periods.
Notices are placed on guideline landing pages as well as the main guideline home page for individuals to be added to notification and launch lists.
Feedback received on the draft during the consultation period is compiled and sent to relevant author teams to review their draft content, assessing and considering the submitted comments. Additional published evidence submitted during public consultation is assessed by the review team against review protocol.
All public consultation comments and suggested amendments are reviewed by the guideline working party. Subsequent changes to draft content are agreed by consensus, based on consideration of the evidence and, in the absence of evidence, expert opinion.
Public consultation periods vary depending on amount of content to be reviewed and the type of guideline. Guidelines going through NHMRC review process have a mandatory 30-day public consultation period, those not being reviewed by NHMRC may be shorter depending on the extent of the revision and update.
Each guideline has documentation related to its own public consultation within the Appendices section, under 'Guideline Development Process'.