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SSA Policy and Process for Endorsement of Documents

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The Stroke Society of Australasia (SSA) encourages and facilitates international, interdisciplinary collaboration, and hence external organisations often solicit formal endorsement of documents from the SSA. In some instances the SSA will have been involved in the development of the documents, but have not been responsible for the final product. In other instances the SSA will not have contributed to the development of these documents.

Endorsement should be mutually beneficial: external organisations benefit by access to, and support from, the SSA’s research and clinical network; the SSA benefits by access and input to stroke-related activities initiated outside the organisation that contribute to the SSA goals. In considering endorsement, the SSA critically reviews the:

  • Relevance and contributions to the goals of the SSA
  • Scope, content and rigour of development
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Involvement of SSA members in development of the material
  • Policy for dissemination
  • Potential for document to remain relevant and up-to-date

Organisations wishing to secure the SSA’s support and consequent use of the SSA’s logo, will need to provide the SSA with appropriate supporting information with sufficient time to permit meaningful review against our policy criteria.

All documents should be sent to the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee. This subcommittee will comprise 3-4 members of the SSA Committee of Management, none of whom will have conflicts of interest with the documents under consideration. On receipt of supporting information, the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee will review the material and determine whether they will recommend endorsement on behalf of the SSA members. This recommendation may require or suggest changes. If changes are required, the SSA will need evidence of changes prior to access to and use of the SSA logo.

If supportive of endorsement an endorsement paper is prepared for consideration by the SSA Committee of Management. If endorsement is ratified by the SSA Committee of Management, the organisation will be notified and granted permission to use the SSA logo.

All agencies receiving endorsement will agree that endorsed documents may be published on the SSA website and will provide the SSA with an electronic version of the guidelines in a suitable format for inclusion on the SSA’s web site.

This policy for endorsement was approved by the Stroke Society of Australasia Committee of Management on 27 January 2010. The criteria and procedures for approval of such endorsement are set out below.

Timeframe
The process of endorsement can be time consuming. Organisations submitting substantial or technical documents including guidelines or clinical material for endorsement should allow up to 12 weeks from the date of submitting for consideration. All organisations will receive a written response to their request within twelve weeks. Shorter timeframes may be negotiated if this is done well in advance of the submission date to the SSA for endorsement.
For organisations submitting other material for endorsement a timeframe will be communicated with the group after an initial review. Non-guideline material may have other factors that need to be considered by multiple groups within the SSA.

Guideline Endorsement
Please keep your supporting information to a minimum. We suggest a maximum of 4 pages for all supporting information, e.g. self-assessment, dissemination etc, engagement with the SSA and SSA members. Two options are available to organisations seeking endorsement of a guideline:

1. AGREE instrument: Appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation

The Agree Collaboration tool (see link below) provides a framework for assessing guidelines. Agencies requesting endorsement using the AGREE tool need to:
  • Provide the SSA with a copy of the guideline, details of the evidence base, other material considered relevant and how the SSA have been involved in the development of the draft guideline
  • Self assess their guidelines against the AGREE Instrument and provide a brief written report on the outcome for consideration by the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee
  • Provide a brief statement (1 page maximum) outlining the dissemination and implementation strategy1
  • Forward all material, preferably in electronic format, to the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee for consideration

2. Organisational approach: Other guideline appraisal approach

Some organisations have developed rigorous guideline development approaches. The SSA acknowledges high quality activity by other organisations. The SSA will consider a brief description of the submitting organisations of a rigorous guideline development approach as an alternative to use of the Agree tool.
In this instance, submitting organisations are required to supply:
  • A copy of the guideline, a description of the evidence base, other material considered relevant and how the SSA have been involved in the development of the draft guideline
  • Provide a brief outline of the guideline development processes used
  • Provide a brief statement (1 page maximum) outlining the dissemination and implementation strategy in general practice
  • Forward all material, preferably in electronic format, to the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee for consideration.


Non guideline material for endorsement
All other requests for endorsement require consideration of the following:

Target Audience and Relevance
•    Who is the primary audience of the material (e.g. stroke physicians, allied health staff)?
•    Does the material relate to the goals of the SSA?
•    Does it complement activities of the SSA?
•    Is the material of national relevance?
•    Does the material ‘add value’ for SSA members, i.e. is it relevant to clinical practice or research excellence?

Content and Quality
•    Is the material evidence based?
•    Does the material have clear aims?
•    Is the material balanced and comprehensive (i.e. not omitting important aspects of an issue)?
•    Is the material current?
•    What systems are in place to update the material when required?
•    Does the material identify options, benefits and risks?
•    Does the material identify areas of uncertainty and provide additional sources of information and support?
•    Does the material support shared decision making?

Dissemination
•    How does the submitting organisation plan to disseminate the material and to whom?
•    Is the material part of a wider program of activities?

In these instances, submitting organisations will be required to supply:

  1. A copy of the product or material, including details of the evidence base, other material considered relevant and how the SSA and SSA members have been involved in the development of the material
  2. Provide a brief outline of the development processes used
  3. Provide a brief statement responding to the criteria above
  4. Forward all material, preferably in electronic format, to the SSA Endorsement Subcommittee for consideration.


Please keep your supporting information to a minimum. We suggest a maximum of 4 pages for all supporting information.

Submit Endorsement Request
You should submit all material electronically to:

SSA Endorsement Subcommittee
Stroke Society of Australasia
Level 3, 33-35 Atchison Street
St Leonards NSW 2065
Phone: 02 9431 8660
Email: ssa @ apcaust . com . au


Reference

1. Bero L, Grilli R, Grimshaw JM, Harvey E, Oxman AD, Thomson MA (1998). Getting research findings into practice: Closing the gap between research and practice: an overview of systematic reviews of interventions to promote the implementation of research findings. BMJ 317:465-468.


Related links
Agree Collaboration
The SSA is not responsible for and does not necessarily endorse content on external sites.

These Guidelines for Endorsement have been prepared using material provided on the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners website. The SSA would like to acknowledge the RACGP for their development of guidelines that suited our purpose.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 February 2010 13:50 )  

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