Quality assurance

We have created a detailed document, Guidelines on advising Policymakers & Society and Procedures for Quality Assurance of Scientific Advice. This document sets out both the principles on which we operate, and our internal procedures for quality assurance of scientific advice.

The aim is to guarantee the excellence and independence of our scientific advice by providing clear guidelines.

Our quality assurance guidelines apply to our Board members, staff, academy Fellows, and all the other experts and contributors who are involved in our working groups.

We publish them here online to inform the scientific community, policymakers and society.

The ultimate goal of scientific advice for policy is to contribute to policy decisions. So scientific advice should be relevant, trustworthy and timely.

  • Relevance can be achieved by shared understanding between policymakers and scientists of the policy issue and precise scientific key questions that need to be answered. The relevance, the policy context and the scientific questions are presented in a scoping paper which forms the basis for SAPEA Evidence Review Reports.
  • To be trustworthy, advice is provided by authoritative scientific experts. Collectively, they cover the range of pertinent disciplines and scientific opinions and take an objective view on the issue at stake.
  • To be useful for policymakers, science advice for policy has to be generated in a timely fashion using foresight processes such as horizon scanning, visioning and scenario planning consistent with future-oriented policymaking.

Summary of guidelines

In brief:

  • We ensure that our advice is based on the most up-to-date scientific and technical knowledge publicly available, across all disciplines.
  • The working group as a whole has the full range of expertise required for the topic. This assures scientific reports are in line with best available evidence and consider all relevant scientific issues and knowledge.
  • All those involved in the scientific advice process are required to disclose any interests that could compromise impartiality and independence by filling in a Declaration of Interests form.
  • SAPEA ensures that results are presented in a scientifically balanced way.
  • A rigorous peer review process is part of the SAPEA Quality Assurance procedures before publication.
  • Publications detail the process by which results were obtained, the source of funding for the project, names and institutional ties of all those involved.
  • We are committed to transparency and openness.

Working group members (April to June 2017)

Academia Europaea

Young Academy of Europe

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