Objective: The National Health Service (NHS) in England planned a national diabetes prevention programme (NHS DPP) with phased implementation. Evidence-based guidelines and service specifications support efficient and effective translation of research into practice. We aimed to evaluate the use of a structured mapping exercise to appraise how evidence, service specification and early phase practice could inform recommendations to guide subsequent implementation of the NHS DPP. Results: The mapping exercise facilitated comparison and appraisal of key components from different documentary sources (evidence-based NICE guidelines, service specification, and provider documents). Key components were categorised into (A) pathways into programmes, (B) intervention content (C) inequalities and (D) quality assurance and staff training. We identified where key components were the same (accordance), where they varied (discrepancies) and where they were lacking (discontinuities), across the documentary sources. For example there was discrepancy in intervention duration and discontinuity in intervention enrolment procedures. This mapping exercise was useful to compare the fidelity in translation of evidence-based guidance into service specification and programme documents, thus identifying where future service implementation might be improved. This method may be applicable for use with other health conditions where research evidence requires translation into real world population programmes.