NHMRC guidelines provide evidence-based information to help Australia achieve best practice in: public or population health, health and research ethics and clinical practice.

To support the development of the highest quality guidelines, we provide:

  • resources for guideline developers
  • the Guidelines Register, which allows researchers to share information about their guideline in development
  • Standards for Guidelines, which are  developed to ensure international standards are met
  • an approvals process, which certifies that the guideline is of a high quality, based on the best available evidence and developed to rigorous standards

We have also developed the Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal, which allows Australian clinicians and consumers to find clinical practice guidelines through a single website.

How NHMRC develops its guidelines

Guidelines are sets of rules, principles or recommendations for practices in a particular field of health. NHMRC guidelines are intended to promote health, prevent harm, encourage best practice and reduce unnecessary waste.

NHMRC guidelines provide the information needed to achieve evidence based best health practice for all Australians, including the most vulnerable. In regard to ethical issues in those fields, NHMRC guidelines reflect the community's range of attitudes and concerns.

Types of NHMRC guidelines

The National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 enables NHMRC to issue evidence-based guidelines in areas relating to human health:

  • public health – for example guidelines on nutrition and healthy eating
  • environmental health – for example guidelines on Australian water quality  
  • health and research ethics – for example  guidelines on the wellbeing of animals used in Australian research
  • clinical practice – for example guidelines for best clinical care of people with borderline personality disorder.

NHMRC guidelines are developed by multidisciplinary committees or panels that follow a rigorous evidence-based approach. The committees include consumers and other people affected by the guidelines. There are strong processes in place to manage conflict of interest and to use the best available scientific methods for making recommendations. Before NHMRC guidelines are issued they are released for a period of public consultation to allow the Australian public to comment.

Rescinded guidelines

Guidelines issued by NHMRC have a limited life. They are regularly reviewed and will be updated or withdrawn in light of important new evidence that may emerge.

Rescinded guidelines are not kept on the NHMRC website. A list of rescinded guidelines (current at December 2017) can be found on the Rescinded guidelines page. They can also be found on the Australian Government web archive.