What are the principles of the JLA?

The JLA priority setting method is flexible and responsive to the needs and contexts of different groups, while maintaining the following integral principles across JLA PSPs:

  • equal involvement
  • inclusivity
  • transparency
  • a commitment to using and contributing to the evidence base.

These principles are demonstrated in a set of features that help PSPs to ensure consistency and maximum learning:

  • transparency of process, methods and interests
  • balanced inclusion of patient, carer and clinician interests and perspectives
  • exclusion of non-clinician researchers for voting purposes, although they may be involved and helpful in other aspects of the process
  • exclusion of groups/organisations that have significant competing or commercial interests, for example pharmaceutical companies
  • audit trail of original submitted uncertainties, to final prioritised list
  • priority setting only commencing after the uncertainties have been formally verified as unanswered
  • a recognition that making priority decisions does not create new knowledge but reviews existing evidence of uncertainty.

Each JLA PSP signs up to a protocol describing its process and intentions (see protocol template for PSPs to discuss and adapt in the Templates and useful documents section.)  This provides clarity about the nature of the work undertaken by each member of the PSP and describes the underpinning principles to be observed by partners.

The JLA method is continuously evolving.  As evidence of new approaches and good practice emerge, the Guidebook will be updated.