Guidelines (sometimes called guidance documents or directives) are important administrative documents that support laws and regulations. Unlike laws and regulations, guidelines do not have the force of law. However, they set out how a department, regulatory authority or other body applies laws and regulations under their jurisdiction. They provide transparency in decision-making and fill in details sometimes missing from the strict nature of legal language in laws or regulations. Examples of guidelines would be Standards of Evidence and Good Manufacturing Practices.

In this section, you'll find information about the current guidelines published by Health Canada. These guidelines cover many topics, including prenatal care, travel information for health professionals, and drinking water quality issues.

For legislation and guidelines containing recommendations on specific and general health related topics concerning diseases and conditions, consult the guidelines available on the Public Health Agency of Canada Web site.

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