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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Data Set

Employment Advisors in IAPT Pilot

As part of the Spending Review 2015, investment in Employment Advisors (EA) in IAPT is being taken forward by the Work (Department for Work and Pensions) and Health (Department of Health) Joint Unit (WHU). The investment, used to increase the number of EAs embedded in IAPT services, will support more people with depression and anxiety to receive integrated psychological therapy and employment support. The EA in IAPT pilot will provide skills based interventions, information and practical support to help people receiving IAPT services to: remain in, return to, and find work.

Pilot sites have been selected on a voluntary basis to flow additional data alongside the mandated IAPT data set in relation to employment and benefits.

The additional data collection will commence from the submission window opening 6th October 2017. The collection will take place for the duration of the Spending Review period with a view to including the new data items as part of the mandated IAPT standard in the future if this investment is evidenced to be successful.

The Technical Output Specification and associated Data Model have now been published, outlining a single new table containing the necessary additional data items required for submission:

DocumentCurrent versionLast updated
xls icon EA in IAPT Pilot Data Set - Technical Output Specification [60kb]1.0


pdf icon EA in IAPT Pilot Data Set - Data Model [70kb]1.003-07-2017

Please see the 'IAPT Intermediate Databases' section below for details of the IDB to be used for submission and the IDB submission guidance document.

IAPT Long Term Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms Early Implementer Program PILOT

Following the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and subsequent implementation plan, NHS England is committed to increasing access to integrated evidence-based psychological therapies for people with anxiety/depression in the context of Long- Term physical health problems and persistent and distressing Medically Unexplained Symptoms.  

To support this, the IAPT programme has commissioned a pilot data collection and analysis of the impact of 'Integrated IAPT' services co-located in and integrated with physical health services, focused on people with anxiety/depression in the context of Long Term Conditions (LTCs) and/or Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS). These will be delivered in primary care and outpatient settings with savings expected in secondary care and primary care.

This pilot exercise is linked to the existing IAPT data set standard through the collection of LTC and/or MUS data from participating IAPT providers and services. The data collected will be used to assess the impact of the Integrated IAPT Early Implementers Programme on health outcomes and use of primary and secondary healthcare services. Currently, 22 IAPT providers are being supported as Integrated IAPT Early Implementers in 2016/17 and 2017/18. More details at:

IAPT LTC/MUS Pilot Technical Output Specification (DRAFT)

The Technical Output Specification for IAPT LTC/MUS Pilot contains all of the technical information required to support the pilot data collection. The Technical Output Specification also includes additional information relating to the validations carried out by the Bureau Service Portal and any derived data items. Please note that the technical specifications are subject to minor change once the data collection commences by March 2017.

DocumentCurrent versionLast updated
xls icon IAPT Data Set LTC Pilot Specification [253kb]Draft v0.9


Please see the 'IAPT Intermediate Databases' section below for details of the IDB to be used for submission and the IDB submission guidance document.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Data Set - v1.5

We collect national data on Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), to encourage improved access to talking therapies for people with common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Started in April 2012, this data set is submitted by providers of NHS-funded care via the NHS Digital Bureau Service Portal.

What data do we collect on Improving Access to Psychological Therapies?

A variety of health and well-being data including:

  • patient health questionnaire
  • generalised anxiety disorder assessment questionnaire
  • phobia screening questions
  • disorder specific measures
  • work and social adjustment scale
  • employment questions
  • waiting times
  • patient experience questionnaires

Who should submit this information?

Providers of NHS-funded mental health services. New guidance is now available to help facilitate the collection of IAPT activity data from Primary Care Setting - including GP Practices. The guidance was sent to all IAPT providers and commissioners registered with NHS Digital. A copy of this guidance can be obtained by contacting the NHS Digital by sending an email request to

How do I submit the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies data set?

Guidance for providers experiencing challenges in submitting data is available pdf icon here. [196kb].

You should submit the IAPT data set via the mental health bureau service on the Open Exeter portal. This site is provided by NHS Digital and only accessible via an HSCN (Health and Social Care Network) connection to the NHS network.

How do I access the system?

Step one: check that your organisation's Caldicott Guardian - a senior person responsible for protecting patient information - is on the Open Exeter register. If they are not, the Caldicott Guardian will need to register first.

Step two: complete a data user certificate to get access to the Bureau Service Portal, and send it to the Open Exeter helpdesk at

Providers and commissioners should complete the same form.

Clinical Support Units should apply using the link below:

For help with completing the form, contact the Open Exeter Helpdesk on or 0300 303 4034.

What are the submission dates?

Submissions for the IAPT Data Set need to be made every month.

The latest submission timetable is attached below.

pdf icon IAPT submission table 1718 1819 [59kb]

Submission deadlines for each period are also highlighted on the IAPT Home Page of the Bureau Service Portal.

IAPT - Intermediate Databases (v1.5, EA Pilot, LTC Pilot)

The submission of IAPT data must always be undertaken using the latest Intermediate Database (IDB).

Following the commencement of data collection for the new EA and LTC pilots, a single IDB has now been made available which will hold any combination of v1.5, EA and LTC data. Details can be found in the below table:

IDB VersionHolds data for:Release DateStatus

Any combination of:

  • IAPT v1.5 data only
  • IAPT v1.5 data + LTC data
  • IAPT v1.5 data + EA data
  • IAPT v1.5 data + LTC data + EA data
iaptmasteridbversion1_5_05IAPT v1.5 data only22/08/2014Retired
IAPT LTC IDB Template - Version 1.5.4IAPT v1.5 data + LTC data03/03/2017Retired

The new IDB template to use is available from the IAPT NETWORK Yammer site, the Bureau Service Portal or on request from the NHS Digital's contact centre. Please send an email to with "IAPT Master IDB" in the subject line.

Further guidance with respect to the new IDB can be found in the IDB Submission Guidance document below:

Document Current versionLast updated
pdf icon IDB Submission Guidance [525kb]v0.313/09/2017

How do I access Improving Access to Psychological Therapies data?

Providers and commissioner of adult specialist mental health services can retrieve processed IAPT extracts covering their own services by logging into the mental health bureau service portal using their Open Exeter account.

Monthly IAPT reports and Publications

All monthly Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Data Quality and Summary Statistics Reports are published on the NHS Digital's IAPT webpages. The latest published reports can be found at Routine IAPT Reporting.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Guidance Documentation

IAPT v1.5

IAPT v1.5 has recently been approved by the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (formerly Information Standards Board) for collection from 1st July 2014. The Data Set Specification and other documentation can be found on the ISB website.

Additional key supporting documents for the use of providers and system suppliers can be found below with further documentation under development:

DocumentCurrent VersionLast updated
xls icon IAPT v1.5 Technical Output Specification [663kb]v1.207/08/2014
pdf icon IAPT v1.5 Technical Guidance [1Mb]v1.424/02/2015
pdf icon IAPT v1.5 Implementation Guidance [405kb]v1.417/01/2014
pdf icon IAPT v1.5 User Guidance [723kb]v1.524/02/2015
pdf icon IAPT v1.5 Data Model [12kb]v1.011//04/2014
pdf icon IAPT Guidance on Changes in Provider or System Supplier [213kb]v1.016/03/2016

IAPT v1.0

Amd 29/2011 was approved and published by the ISB in October 2011 for collection from April 2012. The collection of this version of the data set has since ceased with the implementation of v1.5 of the data set (see above). The documents below shown below should be referenced to understand the development of the standard prior to the amendments made in version 1.5.

The formal Information Standard for this release can be found on the ISB website.

Additional key supporting documents relating to this release can be found below for reference only:

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme supports the frontline NHS in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

The IAPT programme website is a learning and support tool for services created through the programme and provides a number of resources including a directory of local IAPT NHS Services and guidance on measuring outcomes. The programme has recently published new guidance to support the data collection.

Read more about the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme

The previous IAPT programme website is no longer updated - if you require any information or resources from that website, you can access an archived version on the National Archives website

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Currencies and Payment System

An outcome's based payment and pricing system is being developed for IAPT services. This is unique as other systems of PbR are activity or needs based.

This started in 2011/12 with the development of a draft currency. Then during 2012/13 a feasibility pilot took place to establish if the system would work and if the currency model was fit for purpose. The results were encouraging, and with some changes made to the model, an extended pilot was started in 2013/14 and completed by the end of 2014/15.

Should the extended pilot prove successful, it is expected that a national road test will take place during 2015/16, which will allow the benchmarking of achievements against the outcome measures, used to establish pricing. This would then facilitate the payment and pricing system being deployed in 2016/17. More information can be found on the IAPT Programme webpage.

From 1st July 2014 the additional patient level data collected to support PbR was included in version 1.5 of the IAPT Minimum Data Set (MDS), meaning all services in England can now submit this data.

How do we use and protect patient identifiable data?

At NHS Digital, we take the importance of information governance very seriously. We have controls and procedures in place to make sure we demonstrate the highest standard of stewardship and governance of the information we handle, including the IAPT data set.

We conform to the standards of the Governance Committee (formerly the National Information Governance Board), the national body that protects the interests of patients in how their data are used, shared and stored in the NHS and adult social care. Following a rigorous assurance process, they have given the IAPT programme permission to process patient identifiable data.

Patient identifiable data is collected extensively across all areas of health for both clinical and management purposes. The Governance Committee's care record guarantee (external) (Opens in a new window) sets out the "commitment that NHS organisations and those providing care on behalf of the NHS will use records in ways that respect patient rights and promote your health and well-being." This principle is applied across all national data collections including all of our mental health information.

We make sure individual patients cannot be identified by creating a pseudonymised patient identifier which is used in national aggregate reporting.

We make sure all data is kept secure whilst it is being submitted. The Bureau Service Web Portal which is used to submit the data has secure 'https' technology to encrypt data transmitted across the N3 network. The portal has successfully passed extensive testing designed to identify any security issues.

The data we collect will help us to understand how services operate, the treatments they provide and the outcomes they achieve - and helps improve the way they are delivered.

More details on how NHS Digital looks after information can be found at:

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