Job Title:Systematic Reviewer

Job Title:Systematic Reviewer


Job title:Systematic Reviewer

National Guideline Alliance

Directorate:Education and Quality


Post holder:

Responsible to:Guideline Lead or Senior Systematic Reviewer

Responsible for:Assistant Systematic Reviewer(where necessary)

Hours:37.5 (6 months Fixed Term contract)

The Department

The RCOG has been commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to produce evidence-based guidelines for health and social care in England and Wales in a wide variety of topics including women and children’s health, cancer and mental health.

The National Guideline Alliance (NGA) is the team within the Education and Quality Directorate, which has a staff complement of around 50 and is responsible for continuously developing at least 15 guidelines at a time.


NICE guidance is developed to improve the quality of care within the NHS and Social Care. It is based upon the best available evidence and informs practitioners, the public and government agencies on the most effective care for specific health conditions.

The systematic reviewer is a key member of the technical team who develop each guideline and their role is:

  • To carry outsystematic critical reviews of the literature and synthesis of evidence in order to develop recommendations for clinical practice.
  • To presentsummaries of the evidence to Guideline Committees, assist in developing recommendations for practice and writesignificant sections of the final guidelines.
  • To contribute to the quality of systematic reviewing methodology across the NGA.

Main duties

  1. Take responsibility for the systematicreviewing of agreed guidelines, in line with NGA and NICE standard processes for guideline development, working closely with the guideline lead, senior systematic reviewerand other members of the NGA technical team.
  2. Contribute to the drafting of the scope for each guideline, interpretation of initial evidence,and responding to relevant stakeholder consultation comments. Improve your own familiarity with the topic to assist in these processes and to support effective participation in discussions relating to clinical issues.
  3. Collaborate closely with the technical team for each guideline on the scheduling of review work, progress reporting, preparing for guideline committee meetings and planning the writing of each guideline.
  4. Provide relevant advice and expertise on systematic reviewing methodology, to the technical team and guideline committee, in a manner understandable to the audience including non-technical stakeholders.
  5. Work with the guideline committee and other members of NGA technical team, includingan information scientist, health economist and project manager, to develop structured clinical review questions and search protocols, to plan systematic reviews that will coherently answer all agreed review questions,agreeing a plan for completion of each review which fits in with presenting evidence to each guideline committee meeting.
  6. Review and critically evaluate a variety of evidence to support each guideline, following agreed NICE guideline methodology, and collaborating with other systematic reviewers as necessary
  7. For each review question, undertake a systematic reviews and synthesis of the clinical research evidence, including meta-analysis, network meta-analysis and use of GRADE where appropriate, in close collaboration with the Guideline Lead and members of the guideline committee.
  8. Prepareand present summaries of evidence to guidelines committees,explaining results in a way that is understandable to non-technical members of the committee and responding to queries as they arise.
  9. In agreement with the guideline committee, carry out methods for gaining consensus views, such as the nominal group technique, for review questions in which published evidence is not comprehensive or conclusive.
  10. Keep accurate records of evidence related discussion points, decisions taken and actions agreed in guideline committee meetings and guideline team meetings.
  11. Write the researchchapters of the clinical guideline (including methods, results of reviews, evidence statements, evidence to recommendations and recommendations), meeting the standards specified in the NICE guidelines manual.
  12. Contribute to guideline amendments and responses to NICE technical and editorial queries and to comments received from stakeholders during formal consultation.
  13. Work closely with systematic reviewers in the NGA, NICE and other guideline development centres, developing methodology and solutions for systematic reviewing, and disseminate findings through publications, training sessions for colleagues and conferences.
  14. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other NGA staff, contributing positively to the improvement of methods and process across the centre, the development and updating of NGA protocols, and theeffectiveness of team meetings and communications.
  15. Undertake any other duties related to the job purpose, which may be necessary in the work of the NGA.

Note: This job description reflects the present requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the job-holder.

Signed: ______Date: ______



Education requirements

Essential criteria / Desirable criteria
  • A postgraduate qualification in health services research or a related area (for example, epidemiology or medical statistics) or a medical degree with experience in health services research


Essential criteria / Desirable criteria
  • Experienced in systematic reviewing with excellent quantitative and qualitative skills
  • Experienced in using internet-based information technology
  • Experienced in conducting research and preparing peer-reviewed publications
  • Experienced in writing research papers, an MSc dissertation or a PhD thesis, or other complex technical documents, to a high standard
  • Experience of meta-analysis methods
  • Experienced in conducting network meta-analysis
  • Experienced in GRADE methodology
  • Experienced in incorporating health economic analyses into guidelines

Skills and abilities

Essential criteria / Desirable criteria
  • Ability to present quantitative methods to non-technical audiences
  • Adaptable communication style to suit different audiences both verbally and in writing
  • Excellent presentation skills with an ability to effectively convey technical ideas to lay members
  • Provides quality customer service, understanding the importance of positive stakeholder engagement
  • Excellent organisation and administrative skills
  • Ability to plan and prioritise effectively ensuring a high quality output and that deadlines are met
  • Ability to delegate tasks appropriately
  • Demonstrable interpersonal skills to work constructively and flexibly with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Ability to negotiate and influence
  • Can challenge ideas tactfully and constructively
  • Excellent computer skills (e.g. using MS Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Knowledge of the NICE guideline development process
  • Knowledge of consensus methods
  • Ability to conduct literature searches

Other requirements

Essential criteria / Desirable criteria
  • Demonstrates a flexible and adaptable approach to work
  • Undertakes tasks and supports organisational aims in a constructive and positive manner
  • Close attention to detail
  • Able to work independently
  • Contributes positively to team dynamics
  • Respectful of other team members ideas
  • Exercises tact and diplomacy
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Demonstrates commitment to self-development and learning
  • Highly self-motivated


  1. Personal effectiveness
  • Focuses on delivering results for RCOG
  • Leads by example in being reliable, consistent and flexible
  • Makes decisions with confidence and takes initiative in problem solving
  1. Quality
  • Is skilled and knowledgeable in own functional area/ has recognised functional expertise in own team or department
  • Seeks improvement and takes responsibility for continuous self-development
  1. Communication
  • Communicates assertively, confidently and clearly at all levels inside and outside theCollege
  • Is able to communicate complex issues logically and persuasively
  • Influences at all levels
  1. Working together
  • Develops effective working relationships and partnerships
  • Enhances team effectiveness
  • Promotes equality of opportunity and dignity at work
  1. Customer focus
  • Ensures high standards of service delivery and encourages continuous improvement
  • Develops effective relationships with customers and treats them fairly and consistently
  • Demonstrates adaptability and flexibility in order to meet customer needs and manage expectations
  1. Managing change
  • Supports organisational change
  • Provides guidance and support during times of change and uncertainty
  • Encourages innovation and engagement