Clinical guidelines

WCPT, as part of its programme of work on evidence based practice, has committed to further the development, endorsement and accessibility of clinical guidelines.

Clinical guidelines are systematically developed statements which help the practitioner and patient make decisions about appropriate health care in specific circumstances.  (Field & Lohr, 1992)

On this page you will find information on:

WCPT publications

WCPT has published two keynote papers on clinical guidelines.

Further keynotes are planned and will look at practical experiences with using clinical guidelines.

Databases of clinical guidelines

  • Visit our online databases page where you will find a number of links to relevant databases.
  • PEDro is a valuable source of physical therapy relevant guidelines. In the search options you can select "practice guidelines" under method.

Clinical guidelines development methodology


The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group began in the year 2000 as an informal collaboration of people with an interest in addressing the shortcomings of present grading systems in health care. The working group has developed a common, sensible and transparent approach to grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. Many international organisations have provided input into the development of the approach and have started using it. Information is also available in español, français, deutsch, italiano, polski.

  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, UK

The National Institute for Health and Clincical Excellence (NICE) in the UK provides clinical guidelines methodology resources.

  • World Health Organization

Access the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for developing guideines.

Critical appraisal of clinical guidelines


AGREE stands for "Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation". It originates from an international collaboration of researchers and policy makers who work together to improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines by establishing a shared framework for their development, reporting and assessment.

  • Access the AGREE Instrument, a tool for assessing the quality of clinical guidelines
  • The AGREE Research Trust is the home of all resources concerning the AGREE Instrument and activities related to it. The AGREE Research Trust (ART) was established in July 2004 to facilitate the distribution, maintenance and improvement of the AGREE Instrument and to encourage its development through collaborative research projects. You can access the AGREE Instrument in a number of languages, including French, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, Finnish and Norweigan.

International network

Guidelines International Network

The Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) is an international not-for-profit association of organisations and individuals involved in clinical practice guidelines.

Founded in November 2002, G-I-N has grown to 67 organisational members and partners representing 34 countries from North and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania plus WHO.

G-I-N seeks to improve the quality of health care by promoting systematic development of clinical practice guidelines and their application into practice, through supporting international collaboration.

Physical therapist Philip van der Wees, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Physiotherapy in Maastricht, the Netherlands, has been elected a member of the Board of Trustees of the G-I-N. Read about it in WCPT News.

G-I-N's Guideline Library contains regularly-updated information about guidelines of the G-I-N membership. In March 2006 more than 3,300 documents are available.

8th International G-I-N Conference Seoul, Korea, 28-31 August 2011. Relevance for Physical Therapy:  The conference is very relevant for physical therapy researchers, policy makers and practitioners. G-I-N aims to be a network for all health care professions. G-I-N recently started an Allied Health Community to promote multidisciplinary collaboration in clincal guideline development. One of the projects of the Allied Health Community is to develop a position paper to integrate patient functioning and quality of life in clinical guidelines, using the International Classification of Functioning (ICF).  

International clinical guidelines programmes

Further reading