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DAPB4017: Pathology Test and Results Standard (RETIRED)

An information standard to form the basis of sharing pathology test requests and results for all of England.

Notice of retirement

Update 7 November 2023: This information standard has now been retired. A supporting Information Standards Notice confirming the retirement with immediate effect has been issued.

Further information on the retirement of this standard is available on the pathology information standards review webpage. Further information on the standard in development to replace DAPB4017 is available on the pathology standards and implementation webpage. 

About this information standard

This information standard comprises 3 inter-related specifications, aligned with clinical, commissioning and patient needs, to:

  • help standardise information exchanged between clinical pathology laboratories and laboratory information systems
  • enable the sharing of pathology results across the NHS, and across care settings and organisational boundaries.

These specifications are:

  1. Unified Test List (UTL) - a national catalogue of pathology test requests and results, using SNOMED CT
  2. Units of Measures (UoM) - a national set of standardised units of measure, using The Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM), aligned with the UTL and HL7 FHIR
  3. Message Specification - a message specification, using Health Level 7 (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

These specifications are designed to support a generic pathology test request and test report cycle process, but have been further developed to exchange:

  • high volume haematology and clinical biochemistry (also known as chemical pathology) information
  • pathology domain information currently exchanged via EDIFACT and the Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL)
  • COVID-19 pathology test and result information.

This information standard is published under section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. An Information Standards Notice (see below) provides an overview of scope and implementation timescales, and the Specification and Implementation Guidance documents provide further detail for those who have to implement the information standard.

Current release

Release date 17 August 2021
Release number Amd 44/2020
Release title Version 1.0
Stage Retirement (1 November 2023)
Key documents
Supporting documents

Further information

 Find out more on NHS Digital's Pathology and Diagnostics Information Standards Collaboration Space.


1As of 1 February 2023, NHS Digital has merged with NHS England to bring together one single organisation, referred to as NHS England. As a result, the URL for Delen - the information sharing and collaboration platform for users of Terminology and Classifications products - has migrated from to

Links in the documents above have been corrected to ensure continuity of access. No other changes have been made.

Last edited: 6 November 2023 5:48 pm