Clinical coding recommendations for NICE guidance

Content under review

We're updating this page following the publication of our new methods, processes and topic selection manuals. Our previous manuals still apply to evaluations that started before 1 February 2022. The new manuals apply to evaluations that began after this date.

We work with the clinical classifications service of NHS Digital to provide relevant clinical coding information for interventional procedure and medical technologies guidance.


OPCS-4 is a mandatory NHS data standard, and its output forms part of the data flows for Commissioning Data Sets and national Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

The version used on the NICE website is OPCS-4.9.


SNOMED CT is the standard clinical terminology for the NHS to support recording of clinical information. This supports data management and analysis to support patient care, while enabling data extraction and data exchange.

Why we use these classifications

They enable the provision of data on surgical procedures and technologies. This forms part of national database collections for statistical and epidemiological analysis.

The clinical classifications service of NHS Digital is the central definitive source for clinical coding guidance. It determines the coding standards associated with the classifications (OPCS-4 and ICD-10) to be used across the NHS.

We work with the Clinical Classifications Service to provide the most appropriate classification cod