Skip to main content

Data Dictionary Change Notice Guidance

Author:  NHS Data Model and Dictionary Service

Date:      October 2020

1. Background

The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (ISB) Bulletin, March 2010 stated:

"This is a reminder that the data set change notice (DSCN) will be renamed to the information standards notice (ISN) from 1st April 2010. This is in recognition that information standards are much wider than just data sets. 

You will also see a Data Dictionary change notice. This will be issued where the Data Dictionary changes but it does not affect any information standards. More information will be provided on the website when these new documents are used."

This led to the requirement for a Data Dictionary Change Notice Policy.

From 1 April 2014, the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) was responsible for the approval of Information Standards, Collections and Extractions (ISCEs); therefore the Data Dictionary Change Notice Policy was updated.

From 1 April 2017, the Data Coordination Board (DCB) process is responsible for the approval of Information Standards and Collections, including Extractions (ISCEs); therefore the Data Dictionary Change Notice Policy has been updated.

2. Scope

The NHS Data Model and Dictionary Service produce Change Requests for inclusion in Information Standards Notices (ISNs) as part of the Data Coordination Board process.

It has been identified that a Data Dictionary Change Notice (DDCN) is also required for changes which are not appropriate for Data Coordination Board approval, as the change does not relate to an individual Information Standard and Collection (including Extraction).

3. Content

The NHS Data Model and Dictionary Service are made aware of changes that would be suitable for inclusion in a Data Dictionary Change Notice, from a number of sources.

Examples are given below:

  • through the Information Standards Service Desk
  • advised by colleagues
  • internal/external contacts
  • new policy, etc.

4. Principles

The following general principles apply to items that can be included in a Data Dictionary Change Notice:

Supporting Information which does not impact on existing Information Standards and Collections (including Extractions) can be changed, such as:

  • new supporting information, for example, the Data Services for Commissioners was introduced as a new organisation
  • updating existing definitions, for example, change of name to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

The amendment to a definition is to add clarity (not to change the meaning of the definition)

The change is to the presentation only, for example, Commissioning Data Set page view Redesign etc. 

Items can only be amended if there is no change to the scope and purpose of the collection that references the item

Items that should not be included in a Data Dictionary Change Notice, include: 

  • where they are subject to audit
  • where there is a change to the meaning or scope of a standard
  • where a system change is required in order to fulfil national reporting requirements

Changes that impact existing Information Standards and Collections (including Extractions) must go through the Data Coordination Board (DCB) approval process.

5. Data Dictionary Change Notice Numbers

The number of the Data Dictionary Change Notice will be the same as the one allocated to the Change Request, for example, for Change Request 1443, the Data Dictionary Change Notice number would be DDCN 1443.

6. Publication

The Data Dictionary Change Notice will be published as a link to the Change Request on the:

 

Last edited: 5 October 2020 10:55 am