Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services (GPAS)

Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services (GPAS) form the basis of recommendations produced by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for anaesthetists with managerial responsibilities for service, and for other healthcare managers. It was first published in 1994 and entitled ‘Guidance for Purchasers’. It was revised under the current title in 1999, 2004 and 2009.  Since 2012, it has been revised yearly, and published in electronic format only on the College website.  This latest version for 2016 incorporates the newest developments in clinical practice, service delivery and education.

Your input
We welcome comments and advice from clinicians and managers to enable new information obtained from audit and research to be incorporated into GPAS, so that the College’s guidance reflects and supports best practice.  For comments or advice please email

New for 2016
For the first time, the GPAS document includes chapters that were developed using a new rigorous, evidence-based process that involves a variety of stakeholders. The new development process has been accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2016. The chapters chosen to pilot this new methodology were those that were believed by the GPAS Editorial Board to be core to the delivery of a quality anaesthetic service. These were the chapters describing services for effective delivery of pre-operative and post-operative care, as well as the chapter concerned with emergency anaesthesia care. The new process will be rolled out to five chapters each year. By the publication of GPAS 2019, all of the chapters in GPAS will have been developed using the new process and will be NICE accredited. For further information about this, or to get involved in the development of a chapter, please see the GPAS development project page.


The 2015 Guidelines
The 2016 Guidelines
Information on the Chapter Development Group (CDGs)
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