Latest downloads icon

Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD)

  • New! Information Standards Notice regarding confirmed COSD changes now published. 

  • New! New FIGO Staging from 1st January 2014.
  • New! Find out how to get involved in a pilot project to test the feasibility of SNOMED CT.

  • New! Revised Conformance Framework published.

  • New! 2014 COSD submission schedule is now available. 

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 information on it's inception. 

Approved COSD Changes

The Information Standards Board have approved a change request that covers some minor revisions to the COSD which have been identified during the course of implementation. The changes are required to align with changes in clinical practice, to reflect recent organisational restructure (e.g. the introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups), to provide further clarification of meaning or to fix minor errors. In addition, five new items are being introduced to enable a pilot feasibility project on the collection of SNOMED CT codes for specified procedure and pathology items (read below for further information). These changes are to be implemented from the 1st April 2014.

The Information Standards Notice (ISB1521) which covers these changes is available on the ISB website along with a number of additonal documentation, including a revised specification and change request paper. The new version of the COSD Dataset (version 1.2) and accompanying User Guide, as well as details of how to request the new XML Schema are available via the Downloads webpage. 

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 ).


A updated version of the Conformance Framework has been published in order 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 are asked to complete detailing key contacts and details of the data they will be submitting to the NCRS. The new version of the Conformance Framework is available from the the Downloads webpage.

Submission Schedule

2014 COSD submission schedule has now been published. The schedule below details the dates Providers are required to submit the COSD for each calendar month of diagnosis/treatment. 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)
January 2014 7th March 2014
Febuary 2014 4th April 2014
March 2014 8th May 2014
April 2014 6th June 2014
May 2014 4th July 2014
June 2014 4th August 2014
July 2014 5th September 2014
August 2014 3rd October 2014
September 2014 4th November 2014
October 2014 5th December 2014
November 2014 6th January 2015
December 2014 5th Febuary 2015

Feedback and Queries

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