Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

INCOMPLETE DRAFT
New guide in development

Title: Namespace Allocation Policy/Regulation

Effective Date: August 4, 2009 Owner : Management Board

Date Last Reviewed: October 14, 2009 Date Last Revised : October 14, 2009

Related Links

Regulation Statement

SNOMED International will allocate SNOMED CT Namespace Identifiers upon written request from a Member or an Affiliate in accordance with the procedures outlined below. The SNOMED International will also maintain and publish a register of Namespace Identifiers issued.

Section 9 of the Articles of Association provides the starting point for the Namespace Allocation Policy. It states that:

  • 9.1 Only the Association may issue Namespace Identifiers.

  • 9.2 The Association shall, upon written request from a Member or an Affiliate in accordance with such procedures as the Association may prescribe by Regulations, issue one or more Namespace Identifiers to the Member or Affiliate. The Association shall not unreasonably refuse to issue a Namespace Identifier to a Member or an Affiliate.

  • 9.3 The Association shall be responsible for ensuring that each Namespace Identifier is only issued to a single Member or Affiliate.

In addition, section 7.1.7 states that "An Affiliate may not create any Standards-Based Third Party Extension or any Standards-Based Derivative from the Member's National Extensions unless that Affiliate has been issued with a Namespace Identifier."

Definitions

Affiliate: An Affiliate of SNOMED International in accordance with SNOMED International's Articles of Association, i.e. a person or organization to which the International Release of SNOMED CT(whether on its own or as part of a Member's National Release of SNOMED CT) is distributed or otherwise made available under the Articles of Association. Namespace Identifier: A code or that part of a code that identifies the organization responsible for creating and maintaining a standards-based extension or a standards-based derivative. It is an element of SNOMED CT concept Identifiers.

Context

Namespace Identifiers are 7-digit numbers that SNOMED International issues to those who create extensions to SNOMED CT, such as national extensions. Namespace identifiers ensure that it is clear who developed and maintains particular customized terminology. They also ensure that terminology in SNOMED CT extensions has unique Identifiers but a common structure, which facilitates application development and the creation of Reference Sets. There is a defined process for management of Namespace Identifiers when terminology is moved between extensions or from an extension into the International Release.

It should be noted that this policy covers the technical mechanism to allocate Namespace Identifiers in order to be able to identify the source of content, prevent collisions in terminology that would affect interoperability, and achieve similar goals. It does not cover whether or not particular types of content, including extensions and derivatives, can be used in a given context. This may be the subject of national policies, guidelines, or other documents. Requesters of a Namespace Identifier are encouraged to review SNOMED CT International Release documentation and to consult with Members in countries in which deployment of any content developed in the Namespace is planned for additional guidance, policy, and/or process documents which may be relevant.

Procedures

Informing the Community of Practice :

SNOMED International will inform the Community of Practice about the process for requesting a Namespace Identifier.

  • A copy of this regulation will be posted to the SNOMED International website.

  • Instructions for requesting a Namespace Identifier, including the form for making such a request, will be posted to an appropriate location on the SNOMED International website (e.g. the Frequently Asked Question or "How do I?" pages).

  • Confirm which Members would like to be notified when one of their Affiliates requests a Namespace, i.e. an Affiliate listing an address in the jurisdiction in question on their Namespace Identifier Application Form and/or who identified that they received their Affiliate License through that jurisdiction.

Requesting & Granting a Namespace:

The Association shall, upon written request from a Member or an Affiliate in accordance with such procedures as the Association may prescribe by Regulations, issue one or more Namespace Identifiers to the Member or Affiliate. The Association shall not unreasonably refuse to issue a Namespace Identifier to a Member or an Affiliate.

  • To request a Namespace Identifier, individuals/ organizations should complete and submit a copy of the Namespace Identifier Application Form by email to support@snomed.org.

  • SNOMED International should verify that the requester is either:

    • An Member

    • An individual or organization who holds a valid Affiliate License
    • An individual or organization who does not fall into the above categories but whose application is approved in writing by the SNOMED International

  • If the conditions above apply, SNOMED International should issue a unique Namespace Identifier to the requester if:

  • The issuance of the Namespace Identifier should be confirmed in writing with the requester, along with a link to this policy and a reminder that they will be contacted annually to reconfirm their contact information and potentially provide additional information to be published in the register. Requesters should also be provided with Member contact information and the recommendation that they should contact relevant Members to obtain any additional national guidance, policy, and process documents which may be relevant.

  • The relevant Member should be informed if they have requested to be notified when an Affiliate from their jurisdiction requests a Namespace, i.e. an Affiliate listing an address in the jurisdiction in question on their Namespace Identifier Application Form and/or who identified that they received their Affiliate License through that jurisdiction.

Format of Namespace Identifiers:

Maintaining and Publishing a Namespace Register:

SNOMED International will maintain and publish an up-to-date Namespace Register.

  • When Namespace Identifiers are allocated, a record of the number of that Identifier, the date of issuance, the body from which the Affiliate License was obtained (if applicable), and the name and contact information of the individual/ organization to which it was issued will be added to the Namespace Register.

  • On an annual basis, SNOMED International will contact all those to whom Namespace Identifiers have been issued by email to confirm contact information. A reminder will be sent after 30 days if a response has not been received. The year in which a confirmation of current contact information was last received will also appear in the Namespace Register.

  • SNOMED International reserves the right to make a Namespace Identifier inactive for current and future use (i.e. it cannot be used for newly-created concepts from that point onward) if the individual or organization to which it was issued cannot be contacted after three attempts. This status will be noted in the Namespace Register and the individual or organization to which the Namespace Identifier was issued will be notified accordingly.

  • SNOMED International also reserves the right to make a Namespace Identifier inactive if (1) it is requested to do so by the organization to which the Namespace Identifier was issued, (2) the organization to which the Namespace Identifier was issued is involved in a merger or acquisition with another organization to which a Namespace Identifier has been issued, or (3) it receives a written complaint about the use of that Namespace that, upon investigation, it determines to be well-founded, according to the protocol for material breaches and termination of Affiliate Licenses identified in clause 5.2 of the Affiliate License .

  • The Namespace Register will be published with each version of the SNOMED CT International Release. In the future, SNOMED International reserves the right to also publish the NamespaceRegister on the SNOMED International website.

References

Document Control

This policy was approved by the SNOMED International Management Board on August 4, 2009 and is subject to regular review according to SNOMED International's policy review processes. Key stakeholders include the Technical Committee, the Implementation and Innovation Committee, the Member Forum, and the Affiliate Forum.


Feedback