Department of Health Skip to content

Please note that this website has a UK government access keys system.

You are here:

Latest Clinical Costing Standards and Guides

  • Last modified date:
    8 August 2011
  • Gateway reference:
    none needed

Clinical costing standards and guides for PLICS users

The Clinical Costing Standards were first published by the Department of Health in 2009, with versions for both acute and mental health organisations. In late 2010, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) were asked by the Department to update and develop the standards. This reflected a shared belief that the finance profession should have the lead role in setting standards and promoting the highest quality. The HFMA set up a Costing Special Interest Group to facilitate this.

A suite of documents to support PLICS is now available:

The following are available to download from the HFMA web page at the link below

  1. Acute Health Clinical Costing Standards 2011-12
  2. Mental Health Clinical Costing Standards 2011-12
  3. Clinical Costing Implementation Guide
  4. Other supporting material (Materiality & Quality Template and Data quality checklist)
  5. PLICS and Reference Costs Best Practice Guide

 PLICS and Reference Costs Best Practice Guide is also available below

1. Acute Clinical Costing Standards

The Clinical Costing Standards set out recommended best practice for the production of clinical costs and will support the production of patient level costs in acute organisations, although the principles hold true for all organisations. 

2. Mental Health Clinical Costing Standards

The standards for Mental Health have been updated as per changes in the Acute Standards.

3. Clinical Costing Implementation Guide

This guide, available on the HFMA website, updates an earlier guide published by the Department of Health, it provides hands-on advice and guidance to support the implementation of clinical costing. The document provides generic guidance that should be of value across all healthcare settings.

4. Other additional material available on the costing section of the HFMA website

The two documents, 'Materiality and Quality Score (MAQS) scoring template' and 'Data Quality Issues and Solutions Checklist' are both linked to the Acute Health Clinical Costing Standards.

5. PLICS and Reference Costs Best Practice Guide

A guide to assist PLICS organisations in their reference costs submissions

This best practice guide was developed following consultation with the HFMA's Costing Special Interest Group and PLICS practitioners and seeks to:

  • identify areas of costing and recording of information, which PLICS organisations need to be aware of when producing reference costs and
  • provides suggestions of best practice and workarounds used by NHS organisations to produce reference costs from PLICS data.

This document is available below on the NHS Costing and Cost Collection page at the following link

Clinical costing standards for PLICS users 2009-2010

The clinical costing standards have been developed to support the implementation and use of PLICS within the NHS. The use of the clinical costing standards is not mandated, however DH recommends that PLICS organisations adopt them.

The clinical costing standards seek to set out guidelines based on best practice and will result in high levels of consistency and uniformity in the costing methods used by the NHS.

Guide to implementing PLICS

If you have any further queries, please email:

Additional links

Help viewing PDFs

Useful tips to ensure you get the most from PDFs and the free Reader program. Topics covered include accessibility, troubleshooting and searching files.

Access keys