Bodies of Evidence

This report outlines the pioneering evidence work of UK and Irish professional bodies following their signing of the Declaration on Evidence.

Following the signing of the 2017 Evidence Declaration, this report examines the role of the royal colleges, faculties and other professional bodies in mobilising evidence.

Containing a wealth of examples provided by the declaration signatories themselves in five areas:

  • Trusted intermediaries: Supporting and curating high-quality, relevant research
  • Setting and promoting professional standards: Evidence-based guidance
  • Easier evidence-informed decisions: Toolkits, decision-aids and artificial intelligence
  • Opportunities to interact: Training, learning and networks
  • Incentivisation: Professional recognition and awards

Recommendations for professional bodies

We offer nine practical recommendations for getting research used in practice. Our recommendations to all professional bodies are:

  1. Conduct research health checks..
  2. Do systematic reviews or rapid evidence assessments – not literature reviews.
  3. Combine evidence with practitioner insight.
  4. But… don’t conflate expert opinion and research evidence.
  5. Develop practitioner-friendly decision-aid tools.
  6. Provide dedicated time in service careers for research.
  7. Support members’ capability, opportunity and motivation to use evidence.
  8. Scrutinise compliance with authoritative guidance when inspecting or assessing service delivery and training programmes.
  9. Make evidence use a pillar of your profession.

This report was published on the Alliance for Useful Evidence website in September 2019. Read the original article.


Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Director, Alliance for Useful Evidence

Jonathan was the Director of the Alliance for Useful Evidence from 2012 to 2021.

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Helen Mthiyane

Helen Mthiyane

Helen Mthiyane

Programme Manager, Alliance for Useful Evidence

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Professor Jonathan Shepherd

Professor Jonathan Shepherd is a surgeon at Cardiff University, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and an independent member of the Cabinet Office What Works Council.