Cancer Directory quality review process

Cancer Directory website (Website) provides the general public and health professionals with a useful, comprehensive online directory of Australian cancer care resources that are “credible” and have been published in print, audio-visual (AV) or electronic formats since 2007. The information on this Website and listed on another linked website is provided for general information only and is not intended as medical advice.

This website is managed and maintained by Cancer Council NSW. Cancer Council NSW is committed that Cancer Directory only includes high quality resources from the leading Australian cancer care organisations. Cancer Directory contains resources published by organisations that meet criteria set by Cancer Council NSW, specifically the Australian, State and Territory governments, all Cancer Councils, major health services and reputable not for profit organisations. All resources are produced independent of commercial interests.

Cancer Directory is overseen by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives from the Australian cancer care sector, government, health services, Cancer Councils and cancer care advocates. The Advisory Committee was set up by Cancer Council NSW to provide strategic advice on Cancer Directory and to ensure the Website is effective in providing resources that are accurate, current, relevant and published to a satisfactory standard.

This document provides a summary of Cancer Directory quality review process and outlines the quality assurance approach including resources on Cancer Directory Website.

Organisations wishing to list resources on the Website, must first be accepted as a registered publisher. After organisations submit their resources, the quality review process takes approximately two weeks.

Information to guide the quality review process

Cancer Council NSW is committed to ensuring that the process for review of resources for inclusion on Cancer Directory is reproducible and transparent. Organisations will be required to register prior to submitting resources, using a resource submission template.

The resource submission template requires:

  • general information on the organisational details;
  • summary information on the resource content; and
  • outline of the steps taken to ensure the resource has been developed, in line with quality processes. This includes the level of clinical and community involvement in producing the resource; scientific evidence; and the quality of the writing and design.

Inclusion of resources

Resources are most likely to be included on the Website if they meet the following criteria:

  • focused on addressing cancer care issues;
  • prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, coping with cancer; and palliative care;
  • published by any of the following organisations: the Australian, State and Territory governments; State / Territory and national Cancer Councils; major health services; and reputable not for profit organisations; produced in printed, audio-visual and/or electronic format;
  • free or with nominal cost for the general public; and
  • published in Australia since 2008.

Screening and assessment process

If information is missing in the submission, Cancer Directory Team will contact the publisher to obtain additional details on which to base a decision. The screening and assessment process outlined above and the submission template were trialled prior to their use with a number of reviewers and with a random selection of organisations and resources to check for quality, ease of use of the templates and reproducibility of responses.

Resources that meet criteria for currency and relevance, but are not developed by an approved publisher are reviewed by Cancer Council NSW. A list of excluded resources, the publisher and the reason for exclusion is maintained by the Cancer Council NSW.

When there is uncertainty about the clinical, scientific or ethical standards of a resource, Cancer Council NSW reserves the right to seek clarification on the development process, resource design and to reject the resource if, in the sole discretion of Cancer Council NSW, it fails to meet Cancer Directory’s objectives.

Date of publication

Resources for inclusion on Cancer Directory Website need to be current and reflect latest evidence. As a general rule, resources should have been developed or updated since 2008.

Policy about sponsoring organisations

The Website only holds resources that have been developed independent of commercial interests.

Quality ratings of the resource by the submitting organisation

Many of the resources have been self-rated by the publishing organisation to indicate where there has been clinical and community involvement; scientific evidence; and professional writing and editing in its production. Different icons are displayed on the Website to indicate where these areas have been addressed. This rating has been undertaken to assist people searching the Website to select the most appropriate resources for their needs.

Although every measure is taken to ensure only quality resources are linked on Cancer Directory, Cancer Council NSW cannot be held accountable for the accuracy of information provided by other publishing organisations.