Approved Costing Guidance

The Approved Costing Guidance explains how NHS trusts should cost at patient level using the costing standards and then submit cost data using the National Cost Collection guidance. It is updated annually.  

The collection of patient-level costing data helps the NHS manage costs, improve productivity, eliminate unwarranted variation and, overall, improve services for patients. 


What is the Approved Costing Guidance?

The Approved Costing Guidance (ACG) comprises the documentation and tools for providers of NHS services to submit National Cost Collection (NCC) data to create a Costing Transformation Programme (CTP) compliant model.

The main audience for the guidance is healthcare costing professionals, but they have also been written with secondary audiences in mind, such as clinicians, informatics and finance colleagues. The use of the term ‘patient’ across all sectors allows us to maintain consistency in the standards for an individual’s entire health and social care pathway.

Approved Costing Guidance for 2023

All of the prescribed guidance for the 2023 submission for all sectors are listed below.

Introduction and general guidance (all sectors) Date published/updated
Introduction to the Approved Costing Guidance 7 June 2023
Summary of changes 7 June 2023
The costing principles 7 June 2023
Costing diagram 7 June 2023
Quick guide 7 June 2023
Costing glossary 7 June 2023
Integrated standards, guidance and technical documents
Integrated costing standards 7 June 2023
Integrated National Cost Collection guidance 7 June 2023
Integrated technical document 7 June 2023
Integrated transition path 7 June 2023
Integrated extract specification 7 June 2023
Integrated schema 7 June 2023
Ambulance standards, guidance and technical documents
Ambulance costing standards 7 June 2023
Ambulance National Cost Collection guidance 7 June 2023
Ambulance technical document 7 June 2023
Ambulance transition path 7 June 2023
Ambulance extract specification 7 June 2023
Ambulance schema 7 June 2023

Self-help and learning extensions

Self-help guidance and tools have been released to support costing practitioners to effectively implement the mandated guidance and to provide compliant cost data submissions. This includes learning extensions, which are additional documents to help practitioners by providing further details and examples. It also includes the Minimum Software Requirements and the Resource Application Hierarchy. These are available on the the FutureNHS costing workspace page Self-help learning extensions and tools.

Archived guidance

The 2021 and 2022 Approved Costing Guidance and self-help learning extensions and tools can be found at the Approved Costing Guidance archive.


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