Information governance


14 / 10 / 2009 5.54pm

What is Information governance (IG)?

Information governance is to do with the way organisations ‘process’ or handle information. It covers personal information, such as that relating to patients/service users and employees, and corporate information, for example financial and accounting records.

Information governance provides a way for employees to deal consistently with the many different rules about how information is handled, including those set out in:

  • the Data Protection Act 1998
  • the common law duty of confidentiality
  • the confidentiality NHS code of practice
  • the NHS care record guarantee for England
  • the social care record guarantee for England
  • the international information security standard: ISO/IEC 27002: 2005
  • the information security NHS code of practice
  • the records management NHS code of practice
  • the Freedom of Information Act 2000

What is the IG toolkit?

The information governance toolkit is a performance tool produced by the Department of Health. It draws together the legal rules and central guidance set out above and presents them in one place as a set of information governance requirements. NHS organisations, including community pharmacies are required to carry out self-assessments of their compliance against the IG requirements.

An assessment can be started at any time after a new version of the IG toolkit is released (usually June/July each year) but in all cases the final submission must be made online by 31 March each year. Version 11 of the IG toolkit (for 2013/14) was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on 07 June 2013. NHS organisations are also required to complete interim assessments during the year. Deadlines for interim submissions are publicised when a new version of the toolkit is released. 

For further information please see the HSCIC IG toolkit website.

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