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Table 1 Summary of the WHO guideline development process

From: World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals

Stage Required steps to develop WHO Guidelines
Planning WHO Technical Unit
• Form the WHO Steering Group (WSG)
• Draft the scope of the guideline; begin preparing the planning proposal
• Identify potential members of the GDG and its Chair(s)
• Obtain declaration of interests and manage any conflicts of interest among potential GDG members
• Formulate key questions in PICO format; prioritize outcomes
• Finalize the planning proposal and submit it to the GRC for review
• Review and approve the planning proposal
Development Commissioning of systematic reviews
• Develop a process to commission systematic reviews through a request for proposals
• Perform systematic reviews of the evidence for each key question, and any additional literature reviews as needed
• Evaluate the quality of the evidence for each important outcome, using GRADE methodology
• Convene meetings among the GDG members and review
• Formulate recommendations using the GRADE framework
External review group
• Conduct external peer review
Publishing and updating WSG
• Finalize the guideline document; perform copy-editing and technical editing; submit the final guideline to the GRC for review and approval
• Review and approve the final guideline
• Finalize the layout; proofread
• Publish, disseminate, implement
WHO Technical Unit
• Evaluate and update
  1. WHO World Health Organization, WSG WHO Steering Group, GDG Guideline Development Group, GRADE Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation, GRC Guidelines Review Committee, PICO population, intervention, comparator, and outcome