Methodologies and Policies from the ACC\AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines

On behalf of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, we are pleased to make public our methodologies and policies for the development of clinical practice guidelines. For nearly 20 years, the two organizations have partnered to develop these guidelines. Today, our commitment to ensuring high quality care for patients with cardiovascular disease remains the driving force behind our efforts.

Our guidelines development methodologies have evolved over the years as we learned first hand the complexities of combining research findings and clinical judgement to create the best possible recommendations for patient care. Despite this experience, writing groups still frequently face new challenges that cause us to reassess and modify our policies. Additionally, we monitor the international literature on guidelines development to compare our strategies with other rigorous efforts. As such, our methodologies are frequently modified and expanded to reflect our commitment to providing a scientifically sound structure for guideline development.

The web posting of the Manual for ACC/AHA Writing Committees represents the completion of the first stage of our endeavor to make our process transparent to anyone who wishes to understand it. We are also currently preparing additional components of our methodologies for public dissemination, such as topic selection, peer review process, and conflict of interest disclosure. Please re-visit this site in the upcoming months to see this new information.

Multiple copies, modification, alteration, enhancement, and/or distribution of this document are not permitted without the express permission of the American College of Cardiology Foundation. Please direct requests to

We welcome your feedback, comments, and questions to the content we have presented. If you have questions, you may e-mail


ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines

Download Manual for ACC/AHA Writing Committees

Methodology Manual

Readers are referred to the Methodology Manual for ACC/AHA Guideline Writing Committees for more information specific to ACC/AHA practice guideline development.

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