The objective of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) is to improve the quality of health care for patients in Scotland by reducing variation in practice and outcome, through the development and dissemination of national clinical guidelines containing recommendations for effective practice based on current evidence.

As a co-founder of SIGN we continue to work closely with the Network through our College member of SIGN Council and regularly respond to SIGN consultations. You can find their most recently published guidelines, programme of work and proposals for guidelines on their website.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance and advice to improve health and social care in England. NICE guidelines set out the care and services suitable for most people with a specific condition or need, and people in particular circumstances or settings. The College regularly responds to relevant NICE consultations. You can find details of published guidance, and guidance at development and consultation stage on the NICE website.

Chief Medical Officer

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is the most senior advisor on health matters in a government. There are four CMOs in the United Kingdom who are appointed to advise their respective governments with each producing an annual report.

Joint Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) standards for Ambulatory Emergency Care

The joint standards by the College and SAM, launched in April 2019 in Manchester, aim to define the standards that should be adopted in ambulatory emergency care units. This is the first time that standards for ambulatory emergency care units have been produced and it is hoped these standards will improve patient care and ensure patients have clear advice on what to do if their condition deteriorates after being discharged from hospital. These standards aim to further reduce admissions and readmissions and free up hospital beds. 

Health Education England Quality Framework 2017-18

Health Education England (HEE) is responsible for ensuring there are high quality learning environments for all healthcare learners in England. This multi-professional framework sets out how HEE will measure, identify and improve quality in the education and training environment.

Best Practice in clinical audit

Published in October 2016 by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership the purpose of this document is to set out updated criteria for best practice in local clinical audit. As well as the guide, check lists are available which can be used to assess healthcare organisations, clinical audit programmes and clinical audits against the criteria.

Quality criteria for physicians in training

Published in early 2018, the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians has announced the launch of a new set of quality criteria for general internal medicine (GIM) and acute internal medicine (AIM) registrars, to be implemented from 1 August 2018. These criteria have been developed in order to enhance and improve the experience of general and acute internal medicine roles, which are essential to safe and efficient patient care.

Advice for NHS trusts and local health boards on the acute take

Updated in 2016, the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians has published an advisory statement for trusts and health boards on supporting the acute take.

Practical procedures carried out by physicians in training

Updated in December 2016, the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians has published a governance statement regarding patient safety issues in relation to practical procedures carried out by physicians in training.

Regulation of Locum Doctors

In December 2018, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges issued a briefing note on the current position and GMC action underway on regulation of locum doctors.