Objectives: To provide guidance for the optimal administration of electroconvulsive therapy, in particular maintaining the high efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy while minimising cognitive side-effects, based on scientific evidence and supplemented by expert clinical consensus. Methods: Articles and information were sourced from existing guidelines and the published literature. Information was revised and discussed by members of the working group of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Section for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation, and findings were then formulated into consensus-based recommendations and guidance. The guidelines were subjected to rigorous successive consultation and external review within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, involving the full Section for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation membership, and expert and clinical advisors and professional bodies with an interest in electroconvulsive therapy administration. Results: The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ professional practice guidelines for the administration of electroconvulsive therapy provide up-to-date advice regarding the use of electroconvulsive therapy in clinical practice and are informed by evidence and clinical experience. The guidelines are intended for use by psychiatrists and also others with an interest in the administration of electroconvulsive therapy. The guidelines are not intended as a directive about clinical practice or instructions as to what must be done for a given patient, but provide guidance to facilitate best practice to help optimise outcomes for patients. The outcome is guidelines that strive to find the appropriate balance between promoting best evidence-based practice and acknowledging that electroconvulsive therapy is a continually evolving practice. Conclusion: The guidelines provide up-to-date advice for psychiatrists to promote optimal standards of electroconvulsive therapy practice.