NHS e-Procurement: Compliance Requirements for NHS suppliers
NHS suppliers find themselves in the process of adapting to the NHS e-Procurement Strategy’s requirements, which include electronic communications and information automation. The NHS e-Procurement Strategy is based on adoption of GDSN and PEPPOL standards to ensure interoperability between Trusts and their suppliers.
But which are the steps that suppliers must follow to comply with the NHS requirements?
- First of all, sign a Statement of commitment that, among other things, includes the commitment of the organization to the adoption of GS1 and PEPPOL standards and the expected timeline of completion of these tasks.
- The supplier must become a member of GS1, a non-profit business association whose aim is to enhance business process efficiency by standardizing product identification codes.
- By becoming a GS1 member, the supplier will be able to allocate GLN numbers used to identify the company, its significant locations and organizational teams.
- The supplier will have to add the NHS Trusts’ GLNs to their internal system, in order to identify the locations in the information exchanged with NHS customers.
- Next, the supplier will need to obtain GTIN numbers provided by GS1, used at each level of the product packaging hierarchy from unit of use through to shipper/case to identify products. Each product will be identified through a GTIN when trading with the NHS.
- Suppliers must be able to extract and consolidate product and price information required by the NHS, that needs it to create accurate electronic records for their inventory management and product catalogue systems.
- Next step is to be able to receive and send messages with the NHS through the PEPPOL network. For this matter, each supplier will need a PEPPOL Access Point, that will connect to other Access Points and send and receive the information.
- Affix GS1 compliant barcode labels to the product packaging. These labels will include both a GS1 product identifier (GTIN) and the product’s production information.
- Suppliers will also need to join a GDSN certified electronic catalogue for data synchronisation. They will be able to enter and publish data of their products to the NHS, involving online data entry, automatic or manual data upload of your data.
- Finally, suppliers will fulfill a Compliance Self-Declaration document. For trusts and suppliers, self-declaration will be the method used for at least the first two years of implementation programs and will monitor compliance to the adoption timeline.