Nominal Group Technique

Nominal Group Technique

The Nominal Group Technique is a structured approach for small groups to come to a consensus about a research decision (i.e. research priorities, question, design, methods, outcome measures, interpreting findings, dissemination of findings). A moderator poses questions to patient/public partners and everyone takes turns to respond to, and answer the questions within their group (e.g. “What priorities are most important to you and should be addressed in our research project?”). The small groups then work together to prioritize the ideas or suggestions of all the group members.


The four steps of the Nominal Group Technique are:

1.  Generating ideas about a research decision
2.  Recording ideas about a research decision
3.  Discussing ideas about a research decision
4.  Voting on ideas about a research decision


Nominal Group Technique can be useful for:

  • Helping patient/public partners generate and prioritize their ideas and thoughts around decisions such as research priorities, questions, and outcome measures that matter most to them.
  • Allowing everyone a chance to speak, voting power, and preventing one person from dominating the discussion.


 Additional Resources:

1. Gaining Consensus Among Stakeholders Through the Nominal Group Technique