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Commissioning Data Sets

Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) enable national reporting on NHS funded or provided secondary care.


The Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) are maintained and developed by NHS Digital, in accordance with the needs of the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care.


CDS form the basis of data on activity carried out by NHS trusts reported centrally for monitoring and payment purposes. They support national reporting through Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the current Healthcare Resource Group (HRG) version 4 for calculation of payment to trusts and monitoring of other initiatives including Referral to Treatment (RTT).

Changes to CDS, as well as changes to some data items included within CDS such as Treatment Function Codes and Main Specialty Codes, are reviewed and approved by the Data Alliance Partnership Board (DAPB) and therefore require evidence that they can be implemented in services and are interoperable with NHS systems.

Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) v6.3

An update to CDS, v6.3 has recently been approved by the Data Alliance Partnership Sub Board (DAPSB) on behalf of the Data Alliance Partnership Board (DAPB).

The CDS v6.3 changes are designed to update CDS in line with current clinical and data recording practices, as well as to support recent policy initiatives and enable conformance with other information standards and legislation introduced since CDS v6.2 went live.

The CDS v6.3 update enables SNOMED CT codes to be submitted, including those authored in support of the COVID-19 pandemic, and introduces some minor updates to data items to conform with recent NHS Data Model and Dictionary changes.

CDS v6.3 will go live for data submissions in April 2022, with a 12-month transition period for all submitters to start sending CDS v6.3 data by April 2023.

The updated Information Standards Notice DAPB0092 Amd 64/2020, was published on 15 June 2021 and is available along with supporting documentation. 

CDS v6.3 additional supporting documents

CDS v6.3 Enhanced Technical Output Specification

A specification for the output data set required of providers which defines each data item within the data set. This document splits the data set into CDS types, each containing data groups, items and national codes.  

This is the Enhanced TOS, which includes the business rules that will be applied by the XML submission schema. The schema itself is available from the TRUD webpage.

CDS v6.3 Detailed Change Specification

The Detailed Change Specification shows the changes made to the CDS v6.2 specification in comparison to CDS v6.3. Changes to data item names, formats, national codes and their descriptions, mandation levels, repeats and business rules are marked for individual CDS types.

The "MasterDataItemList" tab now also includes the additional 'Change Status' table, representing a separate simplified low level change view, utilising generic descriptions.

CDS v6.3 User Guidance

The User Guidance describes how the information standard should be interpreted by service providers, IT system suppliers and other stakeholders. It helps users understand the scope of the standard and how it should be implemented locally, including guidance about how to map or submit each individual data item.  

This document will be updated with further specific information prior to CDS v6.3 go-live.

CDS v6.3 Data Models

The Data Models are a pictorial representation of the various CDS types included in CDS v6.3, showing the data groups and items and their mandation level.

CDS v6.3 webinars

NHS Digital have held a series of stakeholder engagement webinars regarding the CDS v6.3 uplift. See below for further details.  

CDS v6.2

CDS v6.2 should continue to be submitted for all relevant healthcare activity performed before the end of March 2022. For 2022/23, organisations must submit either CDS v6.2 or CDS v6.3. Submitters can start to submit CDS v6.3 at any time during the implementation period, which runs from April 2022 until March 2023. By April 2023, all organisations are required to have adopted CDS v6.3, as specified in the updated Information Standards Notice.

Change process

Requests for changes to the CDS should be submitted via email to [email protected]

Change requests are logged and considered for prioritisation. For changes to be considered, they must have evidence of supporting a business requirement and have sponsorship from the Department of Health.

Changes to the CDS impact on a wide range of organisations and service areas including:

  • NHS trusts
  • Patient Administration Systems (PAS) suppliers
  • Secondary Uses Service
  • NHS Data Dictionary
  • Payment by Results

The changes need to be assured and approved so that they can be mandated via the issuing of an updated Information Standards Notice and appropriate notice can be given of the implementation date.

Last edited: 6 December 2022 1:57 pm