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New guide in development


This section relates to the rules regarding transfer or responsibilities for components when component identifiers are changed. A more recent approach that is applicable to  promotion of components (e.g. from an extension to the International Release) requires different rules to be followed. More complete and integrated guidance of transfer of responsibility for components is currently being drafted to incorporate updated guidance applicable to content promotion (without changing concept identifiers) as well as other transfers in which the component identifiers are changed. 


When the need arises to transfer components( Concepts, Descriptions, Relationships) from the International Release content to an Extension, from an Extension to the International Release, or from one Extension to another, conversation and coordination between the sending and receiving organizations is needed. In some cases, entire tables may be transferred - not just individual components.

It should be noted that the transfer of components among Extensions, or between an Extension and the International Release, is subject to the terms of the SNOMED International Affiliate License and, within an Member country, may also be subject to the term of that Member's SNOMED CT national license .

Examples of transfers include:

  • From the SNOMED CT International Release to an organization responsible for an Extension:

    • This occurs if a decision is made that some Concepts in the International Release are specific to a Realm or domain or interest for which another organization has been allocated responsibility:

      • For example, this applies to UK specific drugs and UK specific administrative Concepts which are maintained by the UK NHS.

  • From an organization responsible for an Extension to the International Release:

  • From one organization responsible for an Extension to another organization:

    • This occurs if one organization recognizes that some of its Extension content belongs in a domain managed by another organization ;

    • It also occurs if an organization hands over responsibility for its entire Extension to another organization .

There are three types of transfer of responsibility:

The transfer of responsibility depends on the release schedules of the organizations involved. Often the original source organization will be aware of an intended move before the target organization has accepted responsibility and released the component. To facilitate this, an interim Status value Pending Move is applied to components that are being moved to another Namespace but are intended for active use until their replacements are found in the target Namespace.

To provide continuity for a Concept if responsibility is transferred, Concept versioning and supporting files are coordinated as follows:

Table 13. Processing Transfers between Extensions




Sending Organization

Receiving Organization [4

Start State


  • Active = 1


Agreement to transfer responsibility



Responsibility Transferred

ConceptB (created as replacement for ConceptA)