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 has been awarded research funding spanning the five-year period from 2017 to 2022 to produce the evidence to support the development of national 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 the National Clinical Guidelines. The HRB-CICER team comprises a dedicated multidisciplinary research team supported by staff from the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) team in HIQA and the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), as well as national and international clinical and methodological experts.

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 to ensure that its work informs the development of evidence-based recommendations within the National Clinical Guidelines.