A “Clinical Practice Guideline” (CPG) has been defined in a very structured manner by the Institute of Medicine as a “systematically developed statement to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.”
How are Guidelines developed?
The Institute of Medicine has an infographic that shows the process.
How are they different than....
Position Statements/Position Papers:
Position papers are statements on issues of medical ethics and professionalis. (from ACP). They can be viewed as policy statements.
Consensus statements synthesize new information, largely from recent or ongoing medical research, that has implications for reevaluation of routine medical practices. They do not give specific algorithms or guidelines for practice. (from the NIH)
E.g., Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, publishes hundreds of guidelines and even has a specific section called 'AAP Practice Guidelines' where many of their guidelines can be found.
Many societies/associations link to their guidelines from their own websites.