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About this service

What this service does

The directory is a source of recognised standards used by technologies in health and adult social care to exchange data in England.

It is a signposting service only. It doesn’t include the full documentation for each standard. This can be found on the standard owner’s website.

This service is currently in development and is being tested and improved based on feedback. To report a problem or make a suggestion, email

To learn more about why this service was needed and the future plans for it there is a 2022 blog written by the Product Manager of the NHS Data Standards Directory.

Find out more about standards.

Who this service is for

This service is for anyone building or buying digital technologies for the NHS or local authority-funded adult social care services in England.

This includes IT suppliers, healthcare providers and technology buyers such as procurement teams and framework operators.

What standards are included

The directory lists all standards that are mandated at a national level as well as some standards that are not mandatory but are widely in use in England. These include:

It also includes draft APIs and draft standards that are in the process of being assured at the national level.

More standards are likely to be added to the directory in the future. You can find data collections and extractions on NHS Digital’s website.

When writing information around standards there is an aim to provide clear, accessible and useful metadata to enable everyone to understand it. Details of which can be read in this 2022 blog on the use of content design to build the Standards Directory.

Who manages this service

This service is managed by NHS England working closely with organisations involved in standards development. You can contact the standards directory team by emailing