Costing assurance programme


Our annual programme monitors acute and mental health providers' costing information. It identifies providers that need support, those delivering best practice. We also share results from the programme.

We run the annual costing assurance programme to:

  • provide assurance on the accuracy of the costing information submitted by providers as part of national data collections
  • allow our costing transformation programme to address feedback from the sector
  • assess whether providers are complying with costing guidance
  • monitor providers’ progress in implementing the costing transformation programme's changes to improve costing information
  • identify providers that need support

Assessing costing arrangements

We've commissioned EY to assess costing arrangements at selected acute and mental health providers over a three-year period. They will assess whether:

  • providers' arrangements for recording cost information, and its 2015/16 reference costs submission, comply with our costing guidance
  • providers are making progress in implementing the costing transformation programmes changes

Each provider will be sent a draft report of its assessment and given the opportunity to comment. Once the final report is agreed, each provider will agree an action plan with us to address any issues and risks identified.

Progress against this agreed action plan will be overseen by provider’s audit committee or other relevant group.

Reporting dashboard

We've summarised the results of the assessments completed to date in a reporting dashboard. This shows the emerging themes providers should consider addressing as part of their costing process.

Costing assurance programme reporting dashboard: acute providers PDF, 428.9 KB

This dashboard provides an overview of the work to date and high-level analysis of the insights and risks being identified by costing assurance reviews.

The dashboard will be updated regularly as more assessments are completed. Later this year we'll produce separate dashboards for mental health and 'early implementer' providers.

Costing assessment tool (CAT)

The costing assessment tool (CAT) provides an assessment of the quality of costing at each trust and the degree to which the costing standards have been implemented. Details on how to complete and submit the CAT are included in the guidance section of the tool. It should be completed and submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement as detailed in each tool by 31 December 2020. Individual dashboards showing how your trust’s responses compare to others will be issued back to participating trusts shortly after these deadlines.

Costing Assessment Tool 2020 XLSX, 751.7 KB

Costing Assessment Tool for the Acute, Mental Health and Community sectors for FY 2019/20

Contact us

Please contact us at if you have a question about costing or the programme, or if you would like to be added to our mailing list.


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    • nhsi
    • 10 May '17

    resource was opened for discussion.

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