You are here: Home Industry Spine compliance Common Assurance Process (CAP)

Common Assurance Process (CAP)

There are over 80 clinical system types which connect directly to the Spine, in addition to systems delivered by local service providers (LSPs). These systems deliver important services to over 20,000 sites across a broad range of health and social care organisations including the NHS, community pharmacies, independent sector treatment centres and social care providers.

To ensue that these systems work correctly and safely with the NHS computer systems and services, NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) operates a robust assurance regime known as the 'Common Assurance Process', or CAP. Any system and supplier connecting to the Spine outside of an LSP contract must follow a form of CAP.

Suppliers engaging with NHS CFH have different types of sponsorship, varying from relationships direct with trusts to engaging with NHS CFH via a defined programme of work. CAP is relevant, irrespective of sponsor, for systems seeking to gain compliance because CAP is driven by the need to obtain assurance in line with agreed requirements.

CAP is the process by which NHS CFH ensures that a given set of user, service, security and safety requirements are being met. It assures basic requirements for Spine connection such as PDS or information governance and more complex functional and clinically rich requirements such as GP2GP and Summary Care Record.

Once initial compliance to a given set of requirements has been validated, CAP is used to assure that all subsequent supplier releases maintain this compliance. A streamlined version of CAP has been developed to ensure that 'business as usual' maintenance releases remain compliant; this is known as the Supplier Maintenance Release Assurance Process.

Learn more about the following:



Further information

If you have any questions regarding CAP, please email