Background
Health professionals in Australia and New Zealand have used various intrapartum fetal surveillance (IFS) guidelines, with clear differences in how these guidelines present information. Based on clinician feedback, the 2015 Queensland Clinical Guideline on IFS structured the prose‐based Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) IFS Guidelines as a traffic‐light matrix and represented the categorical terms of unlikely, maybe, possible and likely fetal compromise, as the colours GREEN, BLUE, AMBER, and RED, respectively.

Aims
To determine whether the interpretation of the RANZCOG IFS Guidelines in Table Format is more accurate and quicker compared to the current presentation of the RANZCOG Guideline in prose format.

Materials and Method
Twenty‐nine clinicians, naïve to the use of the RANZCOG IFS Guidelines, interpreted ten cardiotocographs (CTGs) using one format and then the alternative format (totalling 580 CTG interpretations). Accuracy and time to decision were recorded as well as a participant questionnaire. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare differences.

Results
Compared to prose format, clinicians interpreted CTGs quicker using the table format (P < 0.01), especially CTGs representative of unlikely and maybe fetal compromise. There was a trend toward more accurate interpretation for table format for all clinicians, with significance among medical officers (P = 0.02). Participants responded more favourably to the table format regarding questions about ease of use, determining actions required, and desire to use the system in the future (P < 0.01). Conclusions Presenting the RANZCOG IFS Guideline in table format as opposed to prose format improved the speed and accuracy of CTG interpretation and is preferred by clinicians.