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National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For guidance to be used in Scotland for COVID-19 go to the Public Health Scotland COVID-19 web page.

For pathogen specific information go to the A-Z of pathogens.

The NHSScotland National Infection Prevention and Control Manual  (NIPCM) was first published on 13 January 2012, by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO (2012)1), and updated on 17 May 2012 (CNO (2012)1 Update). 

The NIPCM was endorsed on 3 April 2017 by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (CPO), Chief Dental Officer (CDO) and Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Care.

The NIPCM provides guidance to all those involved in care provision and should be adopted for infection prevention and control practices and procedures. The national manual is mandatory for NHSScotland. In all other care settings to support with health and social care integration the content of this manual is considered best practice.

The manual aims to:

  • make it easy for care staff to apply effective infection prevention and control precautions
  • reduce variation and optimise infection prevention and control practices throughout Scotland
  • improve the application of knowledge and skills in infection prevention and control
  • help reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI)
  • help alignment of practice, education, monitoring, quality improvement and scrutiny

The NIPCM currently contains guidance on Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs), Chapter 1 and Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs), Chapter 2 and Healthcare Infection incidents, outbreaks and data exceedance - Chapter 3. It is planned to further develop the content of the manual.




When an organisation e.g. NHS board or care home uses products or adopts practices that differ from those stated in this National Infection Prevention and Control Manual, that individual organisation is responsible for ensuring safe systems of work including the completion of a risk assessment approved through local governance procedures.