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Child Protection - Information Sharing - SMSP API

Access child protection information from Child Protection - Information Sharing (CP-IS) as an unscheduled care provider using our SMSP API.


Use this API to access Child Protection - Information Sharing (CP-IS), the national electronic database of child protection information.

The API can be used by unscheduled care providers as follows:

Unscheduled Care Application
Unscheduled Care Appl...
Unscheduled Care
Unscheduled Care...
1. request CP-IS information
1. request CP-IS information
2. receive CP-IS information
(sync real time)
2. receive CP-IS information...

CP-IS Data
CP-IS Data
Viewer does not support full SVG 1.1 Diagram showing how the API can be used by unscheduled care providers.

Unscheduled care providers

As an unscheduled care provider, you can:

  • get a patient's CP-IS information, which automatically triggers a notification to the relevant local authority.

We recommend using this SMSP API instead of the CP-IS HL7 V3 API because:

  • it has fewer security requirements (for example, NHS smartcards are not required)
  • the onboarding process is simpler (see Onboarding below)

Scheduled care providers

CP-IS is not currently available for use in scheduled care settings.

Local authorities

CP-IS SMSP API access is not available to local authorities.

Information held in CP-IS

CP-IS holds the following information for each registered patient:

  • NHS number
  • details of their plan - type, start date and end date
  • details of the 25 most recent CP-IS information accesses from unscheduled care settings in England
  • the name of the responsible local authority - together with their office hours phone and emergency duty contact numbers

Identifying patients

All records in CP-IS are held against the patient's NHS number. It is therefore very important to ensure you use the correct NHS number for each patient.

For more details, see CP-IS NHS number matching information.

Using SCRa as an interim measure

We prefer unscheduled care providers to integrate their applications directly with CP-IS using our CP-IS APIs. However, as an interim measure, you can use our Summary Care Record application (SCRa) to access CP-IS information.

Who can use this API

This API can only be used where there is a legal basis to do so. Make sure you have a valid use case before you go too far with your development.

You must do this before you can go live (see ‘Onboarding’ below). 

API status and roadmap

This API is stable.

To see our roadmap, or to suggest, comment or vote on features for this API, see our interactive product backlog.


This API is an HL7 V3 API.

All interactions are synchronous.

Developing an application against this read-only CP-IS SMSP API is less complex than using the full featured CP-IS HL7 V3 API.

For more details, see HL7 V3.

Network access

You need a Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) connection to use this API.

For more details, see Network access for APIs.

Security and authorisation

For unscheduled care providers, this API is application-restricted, meaning the calling application is authenticated but the end user is either not authenticated or not present. This is also known as SMSP access.

In particular, this API uses TLS-MA authentication.

For more details on authentication, see application-restricted APIs.

Even though the API does not technically require the end user to be authenticated, a condition of onboarding is that the calling application must:

  • authenticate the end user locally
  • use local role-based access controls to authorise the end user

For more details on the calling application requirements, see DCB1609: Child Protection - Information Sharing.


You can test this API using our Path to Live environments.

For further information, contact the interoperability conformance team at


You must get your software onboarded before it can go live.

As part of onboarding, this API uses the Target Operating Model (TOM) process, which is simpler than the traditional Common Assurance Process (CAP).

For more details, and to get a copy of the latest TOM forms to complete, contact the interoperability conformance team on


For a full list of interactions for this API, see the following downloads:

  • SMSP Common Client Requirements - 23/09/2014 PDF

  • CP-IS SMSP Client Requirements - 15/07/2014 PDF

  • SMSP Response Codes - 24/07/2014 XLS


These are PDF and Microsoft Excel files. To request a different format, contact us.

Last edited: 30 September 2021 2:07 pm