Skip to main content
Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital will merge on 1 February 2023. Learn more.

The Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data review process

Find out about the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) review process, including what we consider when reviewing an application and how to apply.

As an advisory body to the NHS Digital Board, IGARD has two purposes:

To make general recommendations or observations to NHS Digital, via the SIRO, Caldicott Guardian or other approved route, about NHS Digital’s processes, policies and procedures relating to data disseminations from NHS Digital, including transparency measures such as the data dissemination register, and produce IGARD’s annual report

To scrutinise and advise NHS Digital on the appropriateness of requests for dissemination of confidential information as defined in Section 263 (2) of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 , including

  • personal data as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation6 (and in due course the Data Protection Act 2018)
  • personal Information as defined in the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007
  • data which is pseudonymised, anonymous in context or which is de-identified for limited access
  • data which is aggregated but which does not have small numbers suppressed

Further information is available within our terms of reference

What we consider when reviewing an application

NHS Digital has produced guidance on the information expected in the various sections of a DARS application, named ‘Standards’. For each ‘Standard’ there is written guidance covering important items to consider when writing your application. 

Last edited: 30 June 2021 11:35 am