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A National Release Center (NRC) is an official point of contact within a Member's jurisdiction that has the responsibility to serve as the interface between SNOMED International, the national users and Affiliates, and other Members.

Figure 1 A National Release Center is the primary contact point for SNOMED International, users and other Members.

SNOMED International requires each Member to have a nominated organization that fulfills a small set of core NRC responsibilities. These responsibilities include receiving the International Release of SNOMED CT from SNOMED International, making it available to licensees in the Member country, and promoting and supporting adoption and deployment of SNOMED CT in the Member country. Some NRCs also provide additional products and services to support national use of SNOMED CT. Provided that the core responsibilities are fulfilled, each Member is free to decide whether or not their NRC should provide other related services or products.

For Members that choose only to distribute the International Release of SNOMED CT, the NRC can be limited to only one or two people to undertake the minimal required services. NRCs of other Members are larger organizations that have many other responsibilities related to SNOMED CT and also manage the use of other health informatics standards within that country. An NRC can be established as a new body or organization within the Member country, or it can be folded into an existing body or organization.

As the primary contact point for both national Affiliates and SNOMED International, the NRC plays a central role in effective and efficient collaboration with the various partners. The term "National Release Center" is used by SNOMED International, but a Member may give the organization that fulfills this role in their country a different name.