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Part of Step-by-Step Guide: from registration to successful submission of the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS)


Advice to support you through the Strategic Data Collection Service in the Cloud (SDCS Cloud) registration process.

Current Chapter

Current chapter – Registration


Advice to support you through the Strategic Data Collection Service in the Cloud (SDCS Cloud) registration process.

Get an Organisation Code (ODS Code)

An ODS code (also called an Organisation Code) is a unique code created by the Organisation Data Service. This code is used to identify organisations across health and social care.

As an NHS service provider, it might be that you already have this code.

Knowing this code is important as it will be used when you register to submit to the dataset and when you logon to SDCS Cloud to submit data.

The ODS Portal allows you to search organisations and their codes. Additional information, such as date opened, date closed, address and Information Governance management can also be found on this site.

If your organisation does not have an ODS code, you will need to obtain one before proceeding with registering to submit to the dataset. To request a code, submit an Organisation code request form to

Register an information governance lead

The provider organisation must have a Caldicott Guardian, Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) or Information Asset Owner (IAO) registered with ODS in order to be able to register to submit to the MHSDS.

Descriptions of each of these roles can be found in the ODS registers webpage.  

To register one of these Information Governance leads, submit the relevant form to

Request a Data User Certificate (DUC)

This is the final step in registering to submit data to the MHSDS and is where you state who will be uploading the data (several people can be listed to submit the data, which is advised to cover for holidays and sickness). The Data User Certificate (DUC) allows access to the SDCS Cloud portal to submit data for your registered organisation.

To request a DUC, the Information Governance Lead needs to submit the Mental Health DUC form to from their own email address. 

To register to submit data for multiple organisations, you will need to submit a DUC form for each organisation. To change registered email addresses or submitters, a new DUC form is required for data protection reasons.

Registering to submit on behalf of another organisation

Some organisations, mostly small, independent sector providers, work with another organisation who submits data to the MHSDS on their behalf. This may be the case where a system supplier provides a service that covers data collection right through to submission, or when a Trust outsources patients to a smaller provider.

If the person submitting the data is from a different organisation, there is no change to the DUC form process above. The relevant people must be listed as submitters for the organisation that is providing the care. When the submitters log on to the SDCS Cloud portal, they will then be able to select the organisation for which they are submitting (the one providing the care).

In the Header table of the database, there is a field where the organisation code of the person submitting the data should be entered (this is explained further in Mandatory tables).

Information Governance considerations

If two organisations wish to set up an arrangement for data flow, they would need a contract and a data depositor agreement. The agreement would place the submitting organisation as data processor, and the organisation providing the care as data controller. The data controller would be contracting the data processor to make MHSDS submissions.

Due to the data sharing required, organisations must ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) such as by undertaking a data protection impact assessment. There are no templates for this as these are local arrangements. Helpful resources exist, such as guidance published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Logging onto SDCS Cloud

Once the registration steps above have been completed, the people listed on the DUC form will be sent a username and password to login to SDCS Cloud.

Each person will also need to use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to increase security every time they log into SDCS Cloud. 2FA is a system where a code is generated on a computer or mobile app, which you are then prompted to enter when logging in.

The SDCS Cloud user guidance contains thorough guidance on 2FA, including screenshots. If you are still struggling, or need your 2FA re-setting, please contact National Service Desk on or 0300 303 5035.

The SDCS Cloud user guidance also contains further information on:

  • ODS codes
  • having an Information Governance Lead
  • how to complete the DUC form
  • how to submit the form
  • checks of the DUC form and how these are resolved
  • the information you get back, in terms of username and password
  • two-factor authentication and how to set it up
  • logging into the portal for the first time
  • password resets
  • account changes

There is also information on best practice around the use of passwords in the Password policy guidance.

Last edited: 17 January 2022 11:38 am