Bring up the Bodies: Alliance for Useful Evidence reports back on its commitments
Sometimes an organisation does such a good concise job with its website copy that there’s no point in paraphrasing. As such, allow me to simply quote directly from the Alliance for Useful Evidence:
In November 2017, 27 professional bodies came together at the Royal Society to sign a ‘Declaration on Evidence’, written by Professor Jonathan Shepherd (Cardiff University and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England). They included the College of Policing, the Chartered College of Teaching, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. A year later, we invited these national institutions to tell us about the ways in which they have been upholding that commitment. The responses we received led to this report.
With a foreword by Professor Shepherd, Bodies of Evidence outlines the pioneering evidence work of UK and Irish professional bodies in health, teaching and policing. These institutions champion research and evaluation in the daily work of more than one million professionals, to improve the lives of patients, pupils and the wider public. We highlight the diverse ways that institutions are mobilising evidence, such as through professional standards and guidelines, decision-making aids and AI, opportunities to interact with peers around research, career-long learning, and incentives to engage with evidence.
We hope this wealth of examples, and our 9 recommendations for increasing evidence uptake, will be of interest to all professional organisations, including those in sectors outside policing, teaching and health.
Would you like a sneak peek at those nine recommendations? Of course you would — but you’ve gotta promise to go download the report afterwards, OK? All right, then:
- Conduct research health checks.
- Do systematic reviews or rapid evidence assessments – not literature reviews.
- Combine evidence with practitioner insight
- But… don’t conflate expert opinion and research evidence.
- Develop practitioner-friendly decision-aid tools.
- Provide dedicated time in service careers for research
- Support members’ capability, opportunity and motivation to use evidence.
- Scrutinise compliance with authoritative guidance when inspecting or assessing service delivery and training programmes.
- Make evidence use a pillar of your profession.