OBJECTIVES: To suggest approaches for guideline developers on how to assess a methodologist's expertise with Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methods and tasks and to provide a set of minimum skills and experience required to perform specific tasks related to guideline development using GRADE.
STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We used an iterative and consensus-based process involving individuals with in-depth experience with GRADE. We considered four main tasks: (1) development of key questions; (2) assessment of the certainty of effect estimates; (3) development of recommendations; and (4) teaching GRADE.
RESULTS: There are three basic approaches to determine a methodologist's skill set. First, self-report of knowledge, skills, and experience with a standardized "GRADE curriculum vitae (CV)" focused on each of the GRADE-related tasks; second, demonstration of skills using worked examples; third, a formal evaluation using a written or oral test. We suggest that the GRADE CV is likely to be useful and feasible to implement. We also suggest minimum training including attendance at one or more full-day workshops and familiarity with the main GRADE publications and the GRADE handbook.
CONCLUSIONS: The selection of a GRADE methodologist must be a thoughtful, reasoned decision, informed by the criteria suggested in this article and tailored to the specific project. Our suggested approaches need further pilot testing and validation.