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Referencing - BU Harvard 22-23 Full Guide: Guidelines or Codes of Practice (including public and private documents)

Referencing Guidelines or Codes of Practice

Referencing guidelines or codes of practice: details, order and format

Instructions how to reference Guidelines or Codes of Practice

Click on the headings below for instructions

Example guidelines

Citing in the main text of your work

e.g. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE 2015)...


Referencing in list at the end of your work

Organisation/Surname/Family Name, INITIALS., Year. Title of guideline [online] (if applicable). Place of publication: Publisher. Guideline number (if stated).


  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2015. Safe midwifery staffing for maternity settings [online]. London: NICE. NICE guidelines NG4.


Note: In academic writing names of organisations may be abbreviated once they have been noted in full. You must always state the full names of organisations in your list of references.

  • This guidance only applies to documents that are not available publicly. Any other documents can be referenced as a guideline or a report.
  • This section applies especially to BU Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (HSS) students working in hospitals, healthcare and social work environments. If you are HSS student or staff seeking further advice on this, please liaise directly with the HSS Library Team ( and they shall consider queries case-by-case.
  • This section is also relevant for dissertation / final year project BU students who may be considering using information / internal documents from an organisation they have worked for e.g. during a course placement year.

In case of non-publicly available documents (e.g. an organisation’s internal documents including private guidelines from an NHS Trust, or, information from your placement year organisation) as a professional courtesy and for ethical reasons, ensure you have gained permission from the document creator(s) to use the information in your university work. This may involve seeking advice from your course Faculty Academics who set the assignment.

Also, to protect confidentiality, especially with NHS internal documents or healthcare data, you must anonymise the document author(s) / organisation name throughout your assignment.

Always consider whether any individual's names (e.g. patient / employer / colleague) need to be anoymised, to protect identities and personal data.


In the main text of your work:

e.g. …at NHS Trust A the procedures for antenatal care are clearly drawn (2017)


e.g. …antenatal care may consist of clearly defined procedures (NHS Trust A 2017) compared to the guidelines from NHS Trust B (2014).

Referring to the organization as ‘NHS Trust A’ or ‘NHS Trust B’ anonymises it.


In reference list at the end of your work:

You would not generally need to include these sources in the reference list at the end of your work.

However, if you are specifically instructed by your BU Faculty / a BU academic by to include this type of source in your reference list, it may be listed like this (it must remain anonymised):


NHS Trust A, 2017. Guidelines for antenatal care.

NHS Trust B, 2014. Guidelines for antenatal care.


Remember to be consistent with the organisation / author(s) names you have used when referring to the source in the main text of your work; it must match.

Names of hospitals / NHS organization names must not be included, to protect confidentiality, unless the document is publicly available and therefore can be referenced as a guideline or a report.