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Frequently Asked Questions on the HSE National Central Repository

What is the HSE National Central Repository?

The Repository is the single trusted source for accessing, storage and management of HSE National policies, procedures, protocols, guidelines (PPPGs) and clinical guidelines.

What documents can be stored on the Repository?

All approved HSE documents defined as a national policy, procedure, protocol, guideline or national clinical guideline.

What document format does the Repository accept?

The Repository accepts approved HSE National PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines (full document) in pdf format only.

What happens if I have additional documentation to accompany my PPPG or Clinical Guideline?

If you have a suite of documentation to accompany your National PPPG or Clinical Guideline, these should be sent as normal to HSE Digital in pdf format for listing on your web page at

National Template:

Is it mandatory to use the National Template when developing HSE National PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines?

Yes. The use of the National Template is mandatory for developing HSE National PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines and can be downloaded from the Repository.

Why has the National Template got a new cover page?

The new cover page of the National Template was developed in order to meet the document management requirements of the HSE National Central Repository.

National and local PPPG development:

What is the rule on adopting National PPPGs or Clinical Guidelines at the local service delivery area?

  • All HSE National PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines should be adopted in their entirety across the organisation, including Section 38 and Section 39 organisations where this is stated.
  • PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines of the same topic should not vary by location, although the procedure for local implementation may differ.
Are local areas allowed to develop a document in order to implement a National PPPG or Clinical Guideline? What is the format for a local procedure/addendum to implement such national documents?

  • If it is evident that due to the local situational context, a supplementary document is required in order to implement the National PPPG or Clinical Guideline, then yes a local procedure (sometimes called addendum) can be developed to support the local implementation.
  • Developing a completely new local document about a National PPPG or Clinical Guideline is not required. This is unnecessary duplication of documentation and effort.
  • A local procedure/addendum to implement a National PPPG or Clinical Guideline does not require:
    • replicating the content of the national document, or
    • re-applying the development standards and effort to create the national document.
In general, should local areas be developing their own PPPGs or Clinical Guidelines?

  • Only PPPGs or Clinical Guidelines that are exclusively site specific should be developed locally.
  • Best practice is always to consider where appropriate, to develop a National PPPG or Clinical Guideline, rather than creating multiple local documents on the same topic.
  • Duplication of National PPPGs or Clinical Guidelines at local level may create conflicting guidance, variation in practice and service delivery.
What if there is an identified need for a PPPG or Clinical Guideline and no National document exists?

Stakeholders who have identified the need for a PPPG or Clinical Guideline, should collaborate with the national function/office relevant to the topic in the first instance, in the interests of standardisation of documentation across the health service.

How can National PPPG developers reduce the necessity to develop local documentation?

  • Where possible, National PPPGs and Clinical Guidelines should be developed so that they can be adhered to without the necessity to develop additional local documentation.
  • To avoid or at least reduce the impact of this, national document Development Groups need early and ongoing engagement with implementers at the local level to plan a solution.
How do I contact the National Central Repository team?

If you have a query, wish to advise us of a National PPPG or Clinical Guideline in development, want to upload a national document or have feedback on the Repository, please contact us at