Approved Costing Guidance 2022

The prescribed guidance published on this page supersedes all earlier versions and is mandated for all sectors. In addition, there are prescribed tools to help you implement the prescribed guidance.


Approved Costing Guidance documentation

The documentation for the 2022 Approved Costing Guidance can be found at this link: 2022 Approved Costing Guidance documentation: prescribed guidance and tools.

Self-help and learning extensions

New non-mandated self-help guidance and tools have been released for 2022 to support costing practitioners to develop costing in their organisations. This includes learning extensions, which are additional documents to help practitioners by providing further detail and examples. Both can be found on the page Self-help and learning extensions.


The Approved Costing Guidance is the inclusive term for the:

  • Costing principles
  • Costing standards
  • National Cost Collection guidance

The main audience for the standards is healthcare costing professionals, but they have been written with secondary audiences in mind, such as clinicians, informatics and finance colleagues. While we refer to ‘patients’ in the context of patient-level costing, we recognise that people who access mental health services prefer to be referred to as service users, clients or residents. 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.

There are three types of standard: information requirements, costing processes, costing methods.

  • Information requirements describe the information you need to collect for costing
  • Costing processes describe the costing process you should follow
  • Costing methods focus on high volume and high value services or departments.

The first two sets of standards make up the main costing process and they should be implemented in numerical order, before the costing methods. We have ordered the standards linearly but, as aspects of the costing process can happen simultaneously, where helpful we have cross-referenced to information in later standards.

The costing methods should be implemented after the information requirements and costing processes, and prioritised based on the value and volume of the service for your organisation.

This year is a minimum change year. The areas amended significantly were subject to a review and feedback exercise, and we would like to thank everyone who contributed their thoughts and suggestions. The remaining documentation has all been reviewed and updated for clarity and the technical changes required for the 2022 National Cost Collection.