The National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) is a ministerially appointed committee made up of representatives from various interested parties from healthcare in Ireland and provides a framework for developing clinical guidelines and audit. Through the NCEC, the Minister for Health in Ireland approves clinical guidelines and clinical audits as National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audits. These are then implemented in the public healthcare system by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

National Clinical Guidelines aim to provide guidance and standards for improving the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare in Ireland. They aim to promote healthcare that is current, effective and consistent, ensuring best outcomes for patients and people using services. To achieve this, they must be based on the best available scientific evidence of clinical benefits, cost-effectiveness, and they must consider the budget impact of their implementation.

The Health Research Board (HRB) is funding the Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews (CICER), which is hosted by HIQA. Following a competitive process, HIQA was awarded research funding spanning the period from 2017 to 2024 to produce the evidence to support the development of National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audits. The HRB-CICER team comprises a dedicated multidisciplinary research team supported by staff from the Health Technology Assessment team in HIQA, the Discipline of Public Health and Primary Care in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), as well as national and international clinical and methodological experts.

With regard to clinical guidelines, the role of the HRB-CICER team is to independently review evidence and provide scientific support for the development, by guideline development groups, of National Clinical Guidelines for the NCEC. The HRB-CICER team undertakes systematic reviews of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions included in the guidelines as well as estimating the budget impact of implementing the guidelines. The HRB-CICER team works closely with the guideline development groups and provides tailored training sessions; assists in the development of clinical questions and search strategies; performs systematic reviews of international clinical guidelines and supports the assessment of their suitability for adaption to Ireland; and supports the development of evidence-based recommendations informed by the evidence produced by HRB-CICER within the National Clinical Guidelines.