The American Academy of Audiology supports the development of scientific and clinical documents across the spectrum of audiology topics and hearing-loss disorders to outline appropriate methods of treatment and care and reduce unwarranted variation in care. The documents can also address specific clinical situations or use of approved medical products, procedures, or tests. The Academy provides guidance in various forms depending on the topic and evidence available.

Development Process

The Academy provides a systematic and practical framework for clinical document development by standardizing the methodological process and improving rigor, transparency, and robustness, including detailed information of the various steps from inception to publication and dissemination with expectations and timelines. The Guidelines and Strategic Documents Committee has recently revised the process and developed a Guideline for Guidelines. This manual is an overview of the types of documents, the process in which they are developed and reviewed, and the criteria that should be included.

Academy Documents Glossary

Clinical Document Status Terminology

In Revision: The document was assessed for currency, and an update or full revision is in progress; the recommended care options may change as a result.

Reaffirmed: Confirmation of the validity and accuracy based on an updated analysis of current evidence; the document was published more than five years ago, and the recommendations are current, accurate, and valid.

Replaced: A complete replacement of a prior guideline or statement.

Review in Progress: The document is being assessed for currency; the status of the document and recommended care options may change as a result.

Retired: The recommended care options are no longer current or valid; the document no longer reflects current evidence or technology and should be used for historical purposes only.

Update: A revision to specific key questions based on new evidence and/or clinical studies.

Document Topic Selection and Prioritization

New guideline and clinical document topics and revisions to current guidelines and clinical documents are prioritized according to those that are most relevant to the Academy’s mission and to patients and their families, along with budgetary considerations within strategic planning cycles. The Academy has developed guidance for document topic selection and prioritization including the clinical document topic nomination form.

Opportunities for Collaboration

The Academy welcomes opportunities to collaborate with other societies, when possible, to provide multidisciplinary guidance on topics of mutual interest.

The Academy may invite organizations to be a full partner, which provides representation on the panel, inclusion of official peer reviewers, and the opportunity to approve and copublish the final document.

The organizations involved sign a formal letter of agreement outlining terms of copyright ownership, simultaneous publication, division of costs (if applicable), and document development methodology to be used.

In other cases, the Academy may invite organizations to collaborate by nominating a representative and official peer reviewer(s) and then to receive the final document for endorsement consideration.

Official Representative Requests

Organizations may request official Academy representatives to serve on an expert panel for a clinical document to be developed by their organization. All invitations for collaboration with the Academy and requests for official Academy representatives should be sent to the Academy’s guidelines staff.

Endorsement Requests

The Academy has a process of endorsing or affirming the value of guidelines developed by other organizations. For more information, review the Academy’s endorsement policy. Submissions for consideration of endorsement may be sent to the Academy’s guidelines staff.