As more and more HTA bodies have come into being, a set of 15 key principles for their organisation and conduct has been developed by the International Working Group for HTA Advancement, an independent group of HTA scholars (1). These principles emphasise standards and elements of good practice for HTA bodies in order for them to best fulfil their role as the bridge between science and policy decision-making.

1.1 Structure of HTA programmes

  1. The goal and scope of the HTA should be explicit and relevant to its use.
  2. HTA should be an unbiased and transparent exercise.
  3. HTA should include all relevant technologies.
  4. A clear system for setting priorities for HTA should exist.

1.2 Methods of HTA

5. HTA should incorporate appropriate methods for assessing costs and benefits.
6. HTA should consider a wide range of evidence and outcomes.
7. A full societal perspective should be considered when undertaking HTA.
8. HTA should explicitly characterise uncertainty surrounding estimates.
9. HTA should consider and address issues of generalisability and transferability.

1.3 Processes for conducting HTA

10. Those conducting HTA should actively engage all key stakeholder groups (such as professional bodies, patient organisations, manufacturers).
11. Those undertaking HTA should actively seek all available data.

12. The implementation of HTA findings needs to be monitored.

1.4 Use of HTA for decision making

13. HTA should be timely.
14. HTA findings need to be communicated appropriately to different decision-makers
15. The link between HTA findings and decision-making processes needs to be transparent and clearly defined.

The International Working Group for HTA Advancement also developed a useful tool from this set of principles: a series of unambiguous audit questions that could be used to benchmark or develop an HTA organisation.

Key principles and related questions for HTA bodies link to fact Sheet 

Adapted from Drummond M, Neumann P, Jönsson B, Luce B, Schwartz JS, Siebert U, et al. Can we reliably benchmark health technology assessment organizations? 2012 International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. Apr 13;28(02):15965. Available at: Can we reliably benchmark health technology assessment organizations? - PubMed (