The User’s Manual provides guidance on how to rate each item using the rating scale and also includes 3 separate sections to further facilitate the user’s assessment of each item.
The 3 sections include “User’s Manual Description”, “Where to Look”, and “How to Rate”.
a) User’s Manual Description
This section defines the concept underlying the item in broad terms and provides examples.
b) Where to Look
This section directs the appraiser to where the information in the guideline can usually be found. Included in this section are common terms used to label guideline sections or chapters. These are suggestions only. It is the responsibility of the appraiser to review the entire guideline and accompanying material(s) to ensure a fair evaluation.
c) How to Rate
This section includes details about assessment criteria and considerations specific to each item.
- The criteria identify explicit elements that reflect the operational definition of the item. The more criteria that are met, the higher the score the guideline should receive on that item.
- The considerations are aimed to help inform the assessment. As in any evaluation, judgments by the appraisers are required. The more the considerations have been taken into account in the guideline, the higher the score the guideline should receive on that item.
It is important to note that guideline ratings require a level of judgment. The criteria and considerations are there to guide, not to replace, these judgments. Thus, none of the AGREE II items provide explicit expectations for each of the 7 points on the scale.