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Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD)

 Now available on downloads page:

  • NEW! COSD Technical Guidance v2.0 - for current schema v5-0-4r
  • NEW! COSD Prepublication Dataset v6.0 and User Guide v6.0 -Jan 2015 (NB:subject to SCCI Board approval for implementation from April 2015)
  • COSD Conformance portal flyer - Oct 2014
  • COSD User Guide (v2.2) - July 2014 (This is the current User Guide)

 NEW! - updated submission schedule for 2015 (see below)

What is the COSD?

In January 2013 the COSD replaced the previous National Cancer Dataset as the new national standard for reporting cancer in the NHS in England. Please see the Background to the COSD for more information. 

Documentation for the COSD Information Standard (ISB1521) including the specification and previously approved Change Notices is available on the ISB website. The latest version of the COSD Dataset and accompanying User Guide, as well as details of how to request the new XML Schema are available via the Downloads webpage.

Proposed COSD changes 2015 - Final pre-publication version of dataset and User Guide now available

In order to ensure that the COSD remains up to date and fit for purpose we need to identify and submit changes on a regular basis, usually annually. Following the revisions implemented in April 2014, we are now preparing a change request for implementation in April 2015.  The proposed changes were discussed with our Site Specific Clinical Reference Groups and approved by the COSD Governance Board before opening for consultation to our wider stakeholder group for comment throughout August. 

All feedback has now been collated and reviewed and any issues raised have been considered and addressed. As a result the proposed changes have been updated with some minor amendments and some additional items.   Please note that some last minute changes had to be made to this dataset and a final pre-publication revision is now available on the Downloads page. In order to align  the dataset and schema versioning this is now v6.0.  (The schema and other documents are expected to be available in February subject to approval by the SCCI Board on 28th January)

Submission Schedule

The schedule below gives the deadline for Providers to submit the COSD data for each calendar month of diagnosis/treatment. (PAS feeds have a later deadline)  Feedback reports for the data submitted are available through the NCRS COSD Conformance Monitoring Feedback Portal.  

Month of diagnosis/treatment Submission due date (MDT/Pathology)
November 2014 7th January 2015
December 2014 5th February 2015
January 2015 6th March 2015
Febuary 2015 7th April 2015
March 2015 8th May 2015
April 2015 8th June 2015
May 2015 3rd July 2015
June 2015 4th August 2015
July 2015 7th September 2015
August 2015 5th October 2015
September 2015 4th November 2015
October 2015 4th December 2015
November 2015 7th January 2016
December 2015 5th February 2016







A revised Conformance Framework was published in 2014 to more accurately reflect the collaborative work of the NCIN and the NCRS, and to incorporate changes in reporting. The Framework provides an outline of the conformance and quality checking reports to be provided following submission, processes for dealing with any problems in submission and the escalation process if these issues cannot be resolved locally. This document is to be reviewed in conjunction with the Data Transfer Partnership Agreement which Providers have completed detailing key contacts and details of the data they submit to the NCRS. The  Conformance Framework is available from the the Downloads webpage.  There will be an updated version of this document available in February 2015

New FIGO Staging Classification from 1st January 2014

All Gynae Multi Disciplinary Teams should have recently received notification of the decision to implement a revised staging classification from January 2014. This applies to all cancers of the ovary, fallopian tube and peritoneum. There are significant changes to the definitions for some of the stage values. To ensure consistency, it is essential that all Multi Disciplinary Teams use the new classification from 1st January 2014 and submit this for their COSD returns. As an interim measure, until MDT software systems can be updated, existing stage groups can be used but these must relate to the new definitions. In some cases this will mean that one stage group will relate to more than one of the new definitions. In such cases, clinical teams are asked to record the more specific stage in their MDT comments field where possible so that this can be accessed at a later stage if necessary. Pathologists are asked to indicate in their reports that staging is based on this 2013 revision and to include the new stage values accordingly.Full details, including the revised definitions and how they map to the current stage values, are included in the following documents. (You may also wish to contact your local registry office data liaison lead.)

SNOMED CT Pilot Project

In support of the National Information Strategy, and following approval by the COSD Governance Board, the NCIN and Health & Social Care Information Centre are leading a project to pilot the use of SNOMED CT within COSD and to identify its potential benefits or issues. Consequently, five new data items, which will initially be for pilot project use only, have been added to the dataset and will provide alternative SNOMED CT coding options for "T" and "M" fields in pathology reports and additional SNOMED CT procedure codes to record treatments.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot, please contact us at the COSD Helpdesk (cosd at ncin dot link ).

Feedback and Queries

We welcome comments, queries and requests for further information through the COSD Helpdesk (cosd at ncin dot link ).