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How to use role meta data to identify the type of organisation

The change to XML introduces a different way of working for many ODS data users. To determine a type of organisation within XML, role meta data must be used. Role meta data describes what an organisation does, such as the overall function(s) it serves. Find out more about meta data in this guide.

Published: 27 April 2018

Version: 1.2

Role meta data

Every instance of HSCOrg and HSCSite entities within health and social care organisation reference data must have at least one Role.

One (and only one) Role per record must be classified as a Primary Role.

The Primary Role describes the fundamental nature of the entity and its overarching remit – for example ‘pharmacy’, ‘NHS Trust’, ‘CCG site’ etc.

Further Non-Primary Roles may be assigned to any given record that are not primary in nature, but which provide further information about that Organisation’s functions or remit. For example, an NHS Trust site (Primary Role) that may be a Hospice or Treatment Centre (NonPrimary Role).

Non-Primary Organisation Roles are non-mandatory and unrestricted in number.

Note that the scope of Primary Roles and Non-Primary Roles is specified within meta-data, maintained separate to the XML schema. You will need to open the file in our data item catalogue.

Any changes to the supporting-meta-data is notified to users through existing communication routes – the ODS Newsletters and User Groups.

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Request to be added to the ODS user group distribution list, for invites and minutes, by emailing the Exeter helpdesk at

Last edited: 19 July 2019 12:01 pm