Directly commissioned services reporting requirements

The four contract monitoring (ACM), patient level contract monitoring (PLCM), drugs patient level contract monitoring (DrPLCM) and devices patient level contract monitoring (DePLCM) are the file formats by which providers must report their healthcare activities commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The purpose of these standards is to enable the interchange, in a uniform format, of monthly contract monitoring data between commissioners and providers of healthcare. This ensures that contract monitoring and reporting is consistent and comparable across all commissioning organisations and their footprints.

Specifications for these, including user guidance can be found on the NHS Digital website in the Information standards and data collections section under contract monitoring. The user guidance document for each provides instructions to users with regards to their population and submission.

Information must be supplied from providers to fulfil the needs of the NHS England and NHS Improvement quality assessment process including annual self-declaration and selected peer review requirements. Information must also be provided for the Specialised Services quality dashboard. The URL of the Quality surveillance information system (QSIS) is

The implementation of these standards was in-year during 2021, so there will be no alterations to the format of these during 2022/23 in order for reporting systems to become mature. Consideration of suggested changes and/or developments to the four standards will start in 2022/23. Users may submit suggestions from April 2022 to Suggestions will be considered by a multi-disciplinary working party comprising representation from suitable relevant stakeholders during the latter part of 2022. Those suggested changes considered by the group to be essential or of merit will then go out to national consultation in December 2022 as required for all suggested changes to national data standards.

Information standards for contract monitoring

Specifications and user guidance for all four monthly contract monitoring information standards can be found on the NHS Digital website.

Other reporting specifications

Other reference material