These documents refer to knowledge that has been gained about situations that have occurred and may recur that might require some action. We can offer advice to those likely to face these situations in the future.
A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.
Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking.
There are some criticisms of the term "best practice". Eugene Bardach claims that the work necessary to deem and practice the "best" is rarely done. Most of the time, one will find "good" practices or "smart" practices that offer insight into solutions that may or may not work for a given situation.