The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) 2012 Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) serves to update the 2002 KDOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease: Evaluation, Classification, and Stratification following a decade of focused research and clinical practice in CKD. The document aims to provide state-of-the-art guidance on the evaluation, management and treatment for all patients with CKD. Specifically, the guideline retains the definition of CKD but presents an enhanced classification framework for CKD; elaborates on the identification and prognosis of CKD; discusses the management of progression and complications of CKD; and expands on the continuum of CKD care: timing of specialist referral, ongoing management of people with progressive CKD, timing of the initiation of dialysis, and finally the implementation of a treatment program which includes comprehensive conservative management. The development of the guideline followed an explicit process of evidence review and appraisal. Treatment approaches are addressed in each chapter and guideline recommendations are based on systematic reviews of relevant trials. Practical comments or statements which serve as educational purposes are ungraded, but included as important information for the readership. Appraisal of the quality of the evidence and the strength of recommendations followed the GRADE approach. Ongoing areas of controversies, limitations of the evidence, and international relevance are discussed and additional suggestions are provided for future research.