Search loading...


Explore and Make use of Nationally Defined Messaging APIs


SMSP Assurance Overview

SMSP Assurance Overview

SMSP Assurance Overview

Through the following two scenarios an approach to assurance which aims to hook into a standard development path is explained.

Scenario 1 - New App Supplier with no customer

Acme Online are developing a new online application providing clinical workflow management for health care professionals, they would like to compare the local demographics (Patient Name, DOB, NHS Number, Address, Sex, Registered GP) with the NHS Digital Demographics system, and provide the users with an opportunity to update locally held data.

Their intended customers are mainly NHS acute healthcare trusts.

Currently they have no firm customers, but are confident they have a viable product and would like to progress development.

Acme Online are aware they need to be assured by NHS Digital, and would like to understand the process.


The key point with this scenario is that the supplier currently has no immediate customer. The aim is to support the development of the product to a phase that NHS Digital can technically assure the solution and valid their proposed usecase. Once Acme Online have found a customer, the assurance process will be formally completed with the Target Operating Model (TOM) being updated and through a first of type deployment with their customer. Once completed the solution will be ‘fully assured’.

How Scenario 1 is played out

  1. The Acme Online developer can use this site to understand how to develop against in the SMSP API. The getting started page will allow a developer with suitable environment access to very quickly connect to the SMSP API and start playing using the test data provided. In parallel Acme Online can submit a partially completed TOM (phase 1 usage and setting) to NHS Digital, who will provide an initial view on the acceptability of the usecase.

  2. The developer will be able to use Test tools for local only development, and online environments available via N3 or Non-N3 connections. In this case Acme Online have no N3 access, so have chosen to use the Opentest environment.

  3. Once the developer has understood the initial requirements to call the SMSP API, they will need to understand the web service interface behaviour requirements (error handling, exceptions, vocabs), and the wider foundation and demographics functional requirements. These requirements cover such things as IG, Audit, Demographics specific.

  4. The developer will work to the point that the solution has implemented the following:
    • the smsp web service interface behaviours
    • the foundation functional requirements
    • the demographics functional requirements
  5. Acme Online will provide two artifacts to NHS Digital:
    • Acme Online will test the developed interface against the Autotest Manager Test tool. This tool provides a suite of automated tests, which generate evidence for submission to NHS Digital.
    • At the same time Acme Online will complete a Target Operating Model for submission to NHS Digital.
  6. Assuming technical tests have passed, the next step is for Acme Online to connect into a Path-to-Live (PTL) environment. This step provides value to Acme Online as they will learn the endpoint registration steps and pipe-clean their network connect, important steps prior to going live.

  7. Once successfully connected to the PTL environment Acme Online will be asked to performed some limited positive testing (note: the interface behaviour has been tested against TKW at step 5).

  8. End of Technical Assurance.

In parallel to the technical work Acme Online will complete and submit to NHS Digital a target operating model TOM.

Once the TOM is accepted and technical testing is complete Acme Online will be aware an Assurance Certificate caveat that they are awaiting a First of Type. This status will be reflected via the NHS Digital online catalogue.

Scenario 2 - New App Supplier with a customer

Acme Apps have developed in conjunction with a local care organisation a new mobile application for pre-op assessments. The pre-op form is completed by a healthcare professional along with the patient. The supplier would like th application to link into the NHS Digital demographics service. Acme Apps are aware they need to be assured by NHS Digital, and would like to understand the process.


This scenario involves both a supplier and customer (typically a care organisation), meaning the assurance can progress all the way to a live first of type (assuming the usage and settings is accepted by NHS Digital).

How Scenario 2 is played out

Acme Apps in conjunction with their customer will complete and submit to NHS Digital Phase 1 of target operating model TOM. The information in Phase 1 provides details of the usage and settings of the proposed service, sufficient to allow the demographics programme to assess the application and approve or reject (with details).

The technical steps are exactly the same as Scenario 1.

Once technically assured and a fully completed TOM (phase 1 and 2) has been submitted and approved, the solution will move into a live first of type deployment verification period (typically two weeks).

Successfully completion of the verification period, with no issues raises, to allow the status of the assurance against the Acme Apps product to be reflected as fully assured.

All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated