The National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care (NCP) is an initiative of the National Coalition of Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC) to further define and underscore the value of palliative care, and to improve upon the delivery of palliative care in the United States.

Palliative care is an organized, highly structured system for the delivery of care. A major objective of the NCP is to heighten awareness of palliative care as an option in treating those with a life-limiting or chronic debilitating illness, condition, or injury, and to raise public understanding of the growing need for such care.


The work of the National Consensus Project began in 2002, and over the last decade, a NCP Task Force representing key national organizations American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), and National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC)] and other national experts developed and disseminated three very successful versions of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care (2004, 2009, and 2013). These guidelines have served as a framework for the National Quality Forum Preferred Practices and have become the hallmark document within the field guiding policy makers, providers, practitioners, accreditation organizations and consumers in understanding and integrating the principles of quality palliative care.

Current efforts are now underway to update the NCP Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care to improve access to quality palliative care for all people with serious illness, regardless of setting diagnosis, prognosis, or age. Learn more here.

NCP Guidelines (2013)

NCP Stakeholder Summit (2017)

NCP Guidelines (2018)