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National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

About the Manual

What is the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM)?

The NIPCM was first published on 13 January 2012, by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO (2012)1), and updated on 17 May 2012 (CNO(2012)01-update).

It is evidence-based and is intended to be used by all those involved in care provision. 

The manual currently contains:

  • Chapter 1 – Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs)
  • Chapter 2 – Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs)
  • Chapter 3 – Healthcare Infection incidents, outbreaks and data exceedance
  • Chapter 4 - Infection control in the built environment and decontamination

There are plans to develop the content of the manual further.

It is a practice guide for use in Scotland. When used, it helps reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) and ensure the safety of those in the care environment – those being cared for, as well as staff and visitors. 

It aims to:

  • make it easy for care staff to apply effective infection prevention and control precautions
  • reduce variation, promote standardisation and optimise infection prevention and control practices throughout Scotland
  • help reduce the risk of HAIs
  • help align practice, monitoring, quality improvement and scrutiny

Who should use the NIPCM?

The National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) and Care Home Infection Prevention and Control Manual (CH IPCM) are considered best practice in all health and care settings.

It should be adopted for all infection prevention and control practices and procedures.

Is the NIPCM based on scientific literature?

The recommendations for practice made in the NIPCM are based on real-time reviews of the current scientific literature (for example Medical Journals) and best practice.  Any major changes identified in the scientific literature may lead to a change being made to the NIPCM. 

What is in the Appendices?

The Appendices can be used as practical implementation of the NIPCM and contain graphical representations (for example diagrams and charts) that can be used along with the contents of the NIPCM.  Many of the Appendices can be printed off as posters for local use. 

Are there any other materials that I can use along with the NIPCM?

The resources page links to the SICPs Campaign Materials, Education and Training Links and Posters.

You can also look at the literature reviews and SBARs for the NIPCM.

The resources section is not mandatory but can be used as a supporting tool for the NIPCM

How can I find out what all the scientific and medical words mean in the NIPCM?

A glossary section has been provided.

Does the NIPCM website work on mobile devices?

The NIPCM website works on mobile devices, for example laptops, smartphones.  Appendices 1 to 4 have been designed to work on mobile devices and we are currently working on the other appendices. 


Last updated: 15 May 2023