The AWMF Guidance Manual is designed to provide a tool for the scientific medical societies to create and publish up-to-date and high-quality guidelines in the AWMF Guideline Register.
The first part – with its workflow charts, aids and tools – supports the guideline developer. The objective of this part is to create guidelines for medical societies according to a reproducible procedure with the highest possible scientific standards, whilst making the development process transparent. This includes, among others, assigning responsibility for guideline development, convening the guideline development group, the use of sound methods for evidence synthesis and structured consensus development; additionally, it helps identify and manage conflicts of interest. The first part also aims to facilitate compliance with the quality criteria described in the German Instrument for Methodological Guideline Appraisal (DELBI). It thus serves to illustrate and assure the quality of the individual guidelines in the AWMF Register.
The second part describes the procedures used by the AWMF within the scope of internal quality management to keep the AWMF Guideline Register up-to-date and to maintain its high level of quality overall. These include the review of registered guideline projects in conjunction with already-published guidelines, their classification into “S” classes, the management of conflicts of interest and checking how current each individual guideline is. Thus the aim of the second part is to assure guideline register quality.
Overall, this Guidance Manual forms the basis for the further and continuing education of guideline consultants, coordinators and developers.