1. Endorsement policy
1.1 Policy number: CO-O-024.2
1.2 Category: Organisational
1.3 Approval date: May 2019
1.4 Revision due date: May 2022
1.5 Unit responsible: Policy, Practice & Innovation Department
2. Policy declaration
2.1 This Policy determines the evaluation criteria for RACGP approval of clinical resources.
2.2 Request for RACGP Request for RACGP approval must be considered against this Policy.
2.3 This Policy is approved by the RACGP Board.
3.1.1 Displaying the RACGP logo is regarded as a distinguished mark of approval by the Australian health professional community. The RACGP from time to time is requested to evaluate and approve externally produced clinical resources.
3.1.2 There are three levels of RACGP approval for clinical respurces:
- RACGP Endorsed Guideline (strongest recognition),
- RACGP Accepted Clinical Resource, and
- RACGP Supported Statement.
3.1.3 RACGP approval bestows certain rights and benefits. Among these is the RACGP connection to the resource, which is an important marker of quality recognised by general practitioners, and influential in promoting the resource’s adoption.
3.1.4 To ensure approval is only granted to high quality resources, the RACGP goes through a robust process to evaluate resources seeking the RACGP’s approval against the criteria articulated in this Policy.
This Policy does not apply to:
- in which the RACGP holds a complete or partial ownership interest, or
- which are the subject of specific contractual arrangements between the RACGP and the party offering the products,
3.2.2 advertising otherwise covered under the RACGP Advertising and Sponsorship Policy,
3.2.3 advertising otherwise covered under editorial guidelines such as for the Australian Journal of General Practice publication,
3.2.4 activities accredited under the RACGP QI & CPD Program, or
3.2.5 activities otherwise covered under the RACGP Endorsement Policy – Commercial Products.
3.3 Definitions and interpretation
In this Policy:
3.3.1 “Accept”means, in respect of a resource, the determination by Board or its delegate to recognise the resource as an “RACGP Accepted Clinical Resource” or “RACGP Supported Statement”, and Accepted and Acceptance have corresponding meanings.
3.3.2 “Applicant” means the person or entity submitting a resource for evaluation.
3.3.3 “Application”means an application for approval of a resource.
3.3.4 “Application Fee”means the fee payable after submitting an Application and prior to the grant of RACGP approval. The amount payable will be determined and advised by the RACGP on a case by case basis.
3.3.5 “Appraisal Instrument” means the appraisal instrument for assessing the quality of clinical resources, such as the RACGP Guideline Assessment Tool.
3.3.6 “Endorse” means, in respect of a resource, the determination by the Board or its delegate to recognise a resource as an “RACGP Endorsed Guideline”, and Endorsement and Endorsed have corresponding meanings.
3.3.7 “Guideline Development Material” means any material evidencing the rigorous high- quality procedures utilised by an organisation in internal development of Guideline including (as appropriate) the evidence base, formulation, evaluation (whether by peer review, independent trialling, or otherwise) and testing.
3.3.8 “Guideline” means any evidence based guidelines intended to apply to any information resources or research, clinical and/or evaluation activities whether or not in a clinical context.
3.3.9 In the event of any inconsistency between this Policy and the RACGP Constitution, the RACGP Constitution prevails.
3.4.10 All references in this Policy are to this Policy itself, unless otherwise indicated.
4. Evaluation criteria
4.1 RACGP Endorsed Guideline
A resource may be approved as an RACGP Endorsed Guideline if the RACGP considers the resource satisfies all of the following criteria:
4.1.1 complement and not contradict with existing or proposed RACGP resources,
4.1.2 be produced to National Health and Medical Research Board guidelines standard,
4.1.3 be rigorously and transparently evidence informed,
4.1.4 be current and based on best available evidence,
4.1.5 possess clinical relevance and clarity of presentation,
4.1.6 be relevant to the conduct of general practice by assisting to:
- improve the quality of care provided by general practitioners,
- improve health of our practice population,
- improve the professional lives of general practitioners, or
- otherwise “add value” to general practitioners or the RACGP,
4.1.7 be promoted, marketed and offered by reputable and solvent entities possessing ethics, integrity, philosophy and image consistent with those of the RACGP, and
4.1.8 demonstrate substance and integrity in supporting Guideline Development Material or assessment by an Appraisal Instrument (as appropriate),
4.1.9 be free of advertising (actual or perceived) of any commercially available product with which the Applicant is in any way associated for commercial reward;
4.1.10 be balanced and comprehensive (including where relevant providing additional sources of information and support),
4.1.11 be supported by:
- a favorable assessment against RACGP’s Appraisal Instrument,
- appropriate Guideline Development Material establishing credibility of the Guideline,
- particulars of the extent to which general practitioners have been involved in developing the Guideline, and
- an outline of the strategy for dissemination and implementation of the Guideline in general practice.
4.2 RACGP Accepted Clinical Resources
A resource may be approved as an RACGP Accepted Clinical Resource if the RACGP considers the resource satisfies most criteria stipulated under 4.1, but where it:
4.2.1 does not satisfy the criteria stipulated in clause 4.1.2,
4.2.2 does not have recommendation and evidence grading, or
4.2.3 has limited or not clearly described supporting evidence base in the Application or relevant literature.
4.3 RACGP Supported Position
4.4 A document that is not a Guideline or an RACGP Accepted Clinical Resource may be approved as an RACGP Supported Position/Statement if the RACGP considers the resource:
4.4.1 is a consensus and/or position statement,
4.4.2 does not contradict with the RACGP’s position in an existing resource, and
4.4.3 has a favorable assessment using an RACGP Appraisal Instrument.
4.5 Exercise of discretion
4.5.1 All RACGP assessments or evaluations made under this Policy are done so in the RACGP’s sole and unfettered discretion.
4.5.2 Payment of the Application Fee does not guarantee an outcome, and the RACGP is under no obligation to approve a resource it evaluates.
4.5.3 The RACGP accepts no liability or responsibility for any advice or recommendations it receives in the evaluation of a resource.
5.1 All licence and other rights granted to an Applicant in connection with the RACGP’s approval of resources they submitted are subject to
5.1.1 the Applicant's payment of the Application Fee, and
5.1.2 this clause 5.
5.2 Unless otherwise notified by the RACGP in writing, RACGP approval of a resource (and all rights attached) expires after  years.
5.3 During the period of approval, the Applicant must:
5.3.1 comply with all conditions imposed by the RACGP,
5.3.2 only use the provided logos in relation to the approved resource,
5.3.3 not misrepresent the scope of their licence,
5.3.4 comply with the RACGP Logo Usage Guide or as otherwise directed by the RACGP, and not use the provided logos in any unauthorised manner, or alter or amend in any way the design elements of the logo,
5.3.5 comply with the Terms of Licence of RACGP Intellectual Property, as supplied and amended from time to time,
5.3.6 seek the RACGP’s written consent before making any changes to the approved resource,
5.3.7 satisfy any quality assurance audit the RACGP may randomly conduct in respect of the Applicant’s compliance with the terms of the approval,
5.3.8 not in breach any of its obligations concerning the resource approval, and
5.3.9 nor engage in any conduct that may damage the RACGP's reputation or standing.
5.4 The RACGP may terminate the licence for any breach of this clause 5.3.
6. Register of endorsements
The RACGP shall maintain a current register of approved resources, and may publish it on its website.
The Applicant must not make any press or public announcements or releases in relation to an Application without the prior approval of the RACGP, unless it is required by law.
Non-compliance with this clause 7.1 may affect the Application outcome.
7.2 Maintaining Confidentiality
Unless required by law, the RACGP agrees to keep details of the Applicant’s confidential. The RACGP will only use or disclose information about the resource to the extent necessary to evaluate it.