Guidance on the review, revision and development of EFSA’s cross-cutting guidance documents
To increase transparency and harmonisation, EFSA asked the Scientific Committee for advice on how cross-cutting guidance documents should be used across EFSA, reviewed and kept up-to-date. The Committee examined 23 documents that should be applied consistently across EFSA sectors to set a common assessment framework, and identified two categories of compliance: unconditional, with a requirement to follow; and conditional, with a requirement to follow if the recommended approach is chosen. The Committee recommends that each guidance document identifies its target audience and addresses the level of obligation to follow. The Committee concludes that the cross-cutting guidance documents must be regularly screened for their up-to-date scientific relevance, and recommends that this should be done every three years. Prioritisation criteria for updating/revising the guidance documents were identified to allow suitable planning of adequate resources and the availability of expertise necessary for the revisions of cross-cutting guidance. The Scientific Committee concluded that the principle of regular review and subsequent revision should also be extended to all guidance documents produced by EFSA’s Panels and Units thus including the sectoral guidance documents specific to EFSA’s domains of activity.