Introduction to Critical Appraisal and Systematic reviewing and Meta-analysis in Action (Combined Courses) 6th & 7th March 2019

When and where

6 March 2019 to 7 March 2019
National Guideline Centre (NGC)
Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE

Past event

Introduction to Critical Appraisal and Systematic reviewing and Meta-analysis in Action (Combined Courses) 6th & 7th March 2019

The 'Introduction to Critical Appraisal and Systematic reviewing and Meta-analysis in Action (combined course)' is an intensive 2-day workshop that will teach participants how to critically appraise published research and introduce the key principles of systematic reviewing and meta-analysis. 

Delivered through presentations and exercises, the workshop will give participants the basic skills to design and perform a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. You will also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different clinical study designs, how to interpret and calculate relative and absolute measures of effect, and how to assess published research for risk of bias.

Booking details

The course will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm on each day. Cost, including printed course materials refreshments and lunch, is £500 (inc VAT). Please note that places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

This workshop is suitable for those who are new to critical appraisal and systematic reviews, or require a refresher session. Some knowledge of basic research methods is required. 

Additional information: Please note that travel and accommodation costs are not included. 

What you will learn

Day 1 of the workshop will cover the following areas:

  • An introduction to critical appraisal.
  • Characteristics of different types of experimental and observational clinical study designs, including a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of each design.
  • An explanation of relative and absolute measures of effect for quantitative data, such as risk rations, odds ratios and absolute risk difference.
  • An introduction to forest plots.
  • The risks in bias assessment for a randomised controlled trial (RCT), including a detailed description of each individual domain.
  • An introduction to commonly used critical appraisal checklists.

Day 2 of the workshop will cover the following areas:

  • What a systematic review and meta-analysis are.
  • Systematic review question formulation.
  • How to draft systematic review protocol.
  • Searching for the literature, and sifting and data extraction. 
  • Meta-analysis of intervention studies (including practical exercise).
  • Assessing the quality of the evidence (including risk of bias and heterogeneity).
  • Reporting and presenting a systematic review.
  • Systematic reviews and change in clinical practice – including an overview of the NICE process.


By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • understand the principles of critical appraisal and why it is necessary
  • identify different study designs and know when to use them
  • appraise study outcomes and judge the quality of study methodology for RCTs
  • be familiar with different types of quantitative data and how to interpret results
  • know how to assess whether the results could change clinical practice
  • explain what a systematic review is and when it should be undertaken
  • develop a focused systematic review question and draft a review protocol
  • demonstrate basic skills in searching for and identifying evidence to answer a specific question
  • know the principles of sifting and data extraction for a systematic review
  • perform a meta-analysis of data from intervention studies
  • assess the quality/validity of the evidence
  • present the results to meet the needs of clinicians, other healthcare professionals and researchers
  • understand how systematic reviews may be used to inform changes in clinical practice. 

Who should apply?

All healthcare professionals.


Cancellation requests must be sent to and will be subject to a 25% charge. No refunds will be made for cancellations notified within 21 days of the event. The NGC reserves the right to cancel the event, in which case all registration fees will be refunded.