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Header image for the current page Adult Social Care Client Level Data

Adult Social Care Client Level Data

Welcome to the Adult Social Care Client Level Data (ASC CLD) communication and information page.

The ASC CLD project is being undertaken by NHS Arden & GEM CSU in partnership with the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC).

A DHSC project was set up as an extension to the North West pilot areas, building on their successes of working to a standardised social care data specification and linking this data with health data to provide a more frequent holistic view of their system. Despite delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the client level data specification has been agreed in collaboration with social care data leads from 21 local authorities (LAs) who represent all regions in England and the Directions were published in December 2020 to allow ASC CLD data submissions.

The information within the links below is primarily focussed on:

  • Supporting local authorities with the onboarding and data submission process
  • Supporting and enabling organisations to access ASC CLD data on its own or linked to health data.

If you have any queries relating to Release 1 or Version 5 specifications, or the guidance, please contact socialcaredata@dhsc.gov.uk

Release 1 (valid from 1 April 2023)

There will be no additional fields added to the Release 1 specification prior to April 2023 when the ASC CLD collection becomes mandatory. Early publication of Release 1 Specification and Guidance enables LAs to plan and ensure the relevant data items are collected in readiness for the first mandatory submission in July 2023, covering the reference period, Apr-Jun 2023.

Please Note:

  • The specification document above will be used for submissions from April 2023, but we will continue to improve the accompanying guidance, working with the LA reference group and other stakeholders.
  • There are 50 fields in the specification. Of these, 33 are specified as ‘mandatory’.
    • For local authorities (LAs) submitting data as part of the voluntary onboarding phase, the Release 1 specification will be required for submissions of data covering the relevant reference period: Jan-Mar 2023 for quarterly submissions, or March 2023 for monthly submissions but there is no mandatory submission until July 2023
    • For queries regarding submissions or signing up to the project please contact agem.adultsocialcare@nhs.net
    • For queries relating to the specification please contact socialcaredata@dhsc.gov.uk.
  • The notification of Directions being published for the mandated collection and submission of ASC CLD (for any LAs not signed up during the current ‘voluntary’ phase) will be communicated to all Local Authorities via NHS Digital and the Department of Health & Social Care prior to April 2023.

Version 5 (valid until 31 March 2023 inclusive)

Please Note: 
You do not need to submit data for all the fields contained within the specification.

Where you are unable to complete a field leave it blank. In addition, if you can only submit the specification fields for some of your services in the first instance then that is also fine; other services data could be added in later submissions. We are looking for Local Authorities to submit whatever data they can – the importance at this stage is to get some data flowing.

‘NHS Digital’s Data Landing Portal (DLP)' allows data to be transferred securely between organisations through a centrally managed system. This will be the method used for Local Authorities to submit their data specification.

DLP account registration

Please use the step by step guide ‘ASC Local Authority DLP registration’ for instructions and guidance on how to register for a DLP account.


Submission templates

  • Release 1 DLP submission template (valid from 1 April 2023)
  • Version 5 DLP submission template (valid until 31 March 2023 inclusive)


ASC CLD data submissions

Please use the step by step guide ‘ASC Local Authority DLP data submission guide’ for instructions and guidance on how to submit your ASC CLD data.


Frequently asked questions

Mandatory Directions


Collection of Client Level Adult Social Care Data Direction (voluntary)


Local Authority Data Privacy Notices


Frequently Asked Questions


If you would like further information about NHS Digital's Data Access Request service (DARS) please use this link.
Please note: you do not need to start an application yourself – please contact us in the first instance at agem.adultsocialcare@nhs.net

Version 5

  • ASC-CLD validation tool
    The CLD validation tool is a macro-enabled workbook that has been produced to assist LAs with their CLD development. This is an offline tool for LAs to download and use for their own purposes in their secure native environments. LAs need to paste in their CLD data in the same format as the specification template and run the macro. Once the validation has been completed successfully, you will be able to identify specific records and data items that need to be addressed. There are 76 validation rules in total covering the basics such as a missing value where one is expected, an unexpected value that doesn’t match the values or formats in the specification, and event or cohort specific rules e.g. expecting a value for route of access for requests only, employment and accommodation values for LD clients aged 18 to 64. The tool includes an instructions page with hints and tips.

    It is not essential for LAs to use the tool, but it does mean that your data will have had a first pass at validation and should make the submission to the Data Landing Portal more seamless. Furthermore, by running the tool, you will have access to basic summary statistics which can be used as a sense check, and if any data quality issues are apparent you have immediate access to client details for cross checking with systems.

    It will take 5-15 minutes to run depending on the size of dataset and what other applications you have open.

    The tool has been released as a beta version, and will be improved over time. LAs are therefore invited to share their feedback to enhance the tool to socialcaredata@dhsc.gov.uk

  • ASC-CLD example dataset


Release 1 validation tool

  • Currently under development (Nov 2022)


Additional resources

The Department of Health & Social Care is hosting a series of practical drop-in sessions to aid submissions and talk through any issues.


The Client Level Data (CLD) project has worked collaboratively with local authorities (LAs) and stakeholders to produce a specification that represents events across the health and social care system.

Throughout the development of the specification, the CLD team have worked with LAs to refine the details of the specification and ensure the data is useful through the reference group. Additional streams of feedback have been provided and resulted in the construction of the Release 1 specification which will be used for the mandatory collection from April 2023.

With the development of the new specification, the project has progressed into its new phase in which Las have been setting up their systems to flow data. Considering this shift, the once specification-focused reference group has taken on a new purpose of updating local authorities on the progress of the project and provide the opportunity for feedback on key developments. In the most recent session, the existing engagement and support provided to LAs as we approach mandation was discussed. This was to ensure the existing engagement ensures LAs at all levels are fully supported, this includes: those currently not engaged in the process, those preparing to flow data and those already flowing data.

Feedback from LAs has suggested that practical drop-in sessions will be a useful tool to aid submissions and talk through issues they may be having. It is recognised that different LAs have different business rules and practices, and so these sessions will aim to tackle any issues with submissions flowing to the Release 1 specification.

Session Schedule and Themes

To ensure enough time to answer queries in full and avoid repeats, the questions will be chosen in advance that tackle a range of issues for each theme. The sessions will run fortnightly and address each aspect of the specification.
The session schedule along with online links can be found below (there may be changes or amendments to the schedule and LAs will be notified of this):

  • Session 1: Assessments
  • Session 2: Carers and Client Type
  • Session 3: Services
  • Session 4: Review 
  • Session 5: Person Details and Request (*Delayed for winter break*)
  • Session 6: No theme (this week’s theme will be decided closer to the session)

The sessions will continue based on requirements as we approach mandation and will be open to all LAs.

If you have any comments about our sessions or how they can be improved, please complete our feedback form.

Please submit your questions before each Session to the DHSC portal via this link 

Please choose your preferred session(s) from the links below:

Session 1: Assessments


Session 2: Carers and Client Type


Session 3: Services


Session 4: Reviews


Session 5: Person Details and Requests


Session 6: TBC


As well as this forum, the mailbox will also be open to queries which are answered regularly, please email us at: socialcaredata@dhsc.gov.uk


Case Studies

If you require any more information or guidance regarding submitting data or having access to the data, please email: agem.adultsocialcare@nhs.net

For information regarding the wider remit of the programme, please email: socialcaredata@dhsc.gov.uk

Working in partnership with: