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Clinical terminology

SNOMED CT-AU is the Australian extension to SNOMED CT®, which incorporates Australian-developed terminology, including the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT), along with the core international data.

The primary distribution format for SNOMED CT-AU release files is RF2, which is a format defined by SNOMED International. The National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) also provides alternative access to the release as HL7™ FHIR® standard2 value sets, and a tab delimited text file (TSV). All alternative distributions are derived from the primary RF2 release.

“SNOMED” and “SNOMED CT” are registered trademarks of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation.

FHIR® is a registered trade mark of Health Level Seven International.

Release rationale

The purpose of each monthly terminology release is to incorporate new content, enhance existing content, and make more effective use of the existing terminology.


The intended audience is any NCTS-registered user with a practical interest in SNOMED CT-AU or the AMT, including: software developers, content or mapping developers, testers, information system suppliers, analysts, terminology or classification specialists, health IT professionals, and researchers.

SNOMED CT International release – other artefacts

The below table outlines the SNOMED CT International Release (core module) artefacts which are released as part of the SNOMED CT-AU Release. Please contact for any further details required.

Lateralisable body structure reference set This reference set includes all body structure concepts that can be lateralised. The reference set can be accessed from within the release bundle and also by selecting SNOMED CT-AU > Reference Sets
ICD-O simple map reference set The SNOMED CT to ICD-O maps are released as a simple map reference set. The source domains for the maps are limited to subtypes of 400177003 | Neoplasm and/or hamartoma (morphologic abnormality) | and 91723000 |Anatomical structure (body structure) | for ICD-O Morphological codes and Topographical codes. The mapping file can only be accessed from within the release bundle.
Machine readable concept model reference setsThere are four reference sets that support the use of the SNOMED CT Machine Readable Concept Model specification. More information can be found here: The reference sets can be accessed from within the release bundle.
Anatomy structure and entire association reference
set and Anatomy structure and part association reference set
There are two reference sets that support the representation of the associations between Structure, Entire and Part concepts in the Body structure hierarchy. It can also be used to distinguish body structure concepts as Structure or Entire or Part concepts.
The reference sets can be accessed from within the release bundle.

The following artefacts are not currently released in SNOMED CT-AU

  • GB English language reference set;
  • US English language reference set;
  • CTV3 simple map; and
  • ICD-10 complex map reference set.

The NCTS will continue to review the above artefacts following each international release to assess their relevance and potential use case in Australia and whether they should be provided as part of the national release. Please contact us if you have any questions in relation to this.

Safety guidance

The Agency applies its clinical safety management system to SNOMED CT-AU, AMT development cycles, and reported incidents. This is to minimise the potential for clinical safety hazards to be introduced during the development of terminology.

Implementers are required to undertake their own risk assessment and risk management of their own implementations. In addition, it is expected that implementers will contact the NCTS Product Support team if they become aware of an incident related to their implementations or have any safety-related questions or concerns.

The NCTS recommends that all licence holders planning to either develop a map or undertake an implementation contact the NCTS to discuss their intended uses.5 This notification will allow Product Support Services to be made available.

Please note that if licence holders become aware of any errors or omissions during their development, they are obliged to notify the Agency, as per clause 2.6 of the Australian National Terminology Licence Agreement, which states:

“If the Licensee becomes aware of any material error or change or correction needed in the Australian National Terminology, the Licensee agrees to advise the Licensor within 30 days of such error, change or correction by following the Licensor’s procedures for change notification that the Licensor prescribes in writing and which the Licensor notifies to the Licensee from time to time.”

To report an error, incident or provide any other feedback, please email

NCTS services

Implementation support

The NCTS provides an extensive list of documentation to support your use of our products and tools.

Key guidance includes:

  • NCTS Guide for Implementers v1.2;
  • SNOMED CT-AU – Australian Technical Implementation Guide v2.5;
  • SNOMED CT-AU – Guide for Terminology Use in Prescribing v1.0;
  • SNOMED CT-AU – Development Approach for Reference Sets v3.5; and
  • SNOMED CT-AU Adverse Reactions Reference Set Implementation Guide v1.0.

Note: During the migration of resources from the Agency website to the NCTS Document Library, a number of documents originally prefixed by “NCTIS” or “Clinical Terminology” now appear on the website under “SNOMED CT-AU” or “NCTS” prefixes. Some of these documents have not yet been revised, and therefore carry the original name internally. These documents will be renamed accordingly during their next revision.

Our dedicated Product Support team offers tailored support and consulting services to assist licence holders in their understanding and implementation of SNOMED CT-AU. To provide feedback or request support, please complete the online Support Request form or email .

Hosting reference sets developed and owned by third parties

The NCTS has initiated a service whereby reference sets that are developed and owned by licence holders can be released as part of SNOMED CT-AU. The ownership and future development of such reference sets are intended to be continued by the licence holders, and content will be released in a dedicated module within SNOMED CT-AU to indicate this. For more information, or to express interest in submitting a reference set, please contact .

Previous releases

Details of previous releases are available in the release notes, which can be accessed from Updates and news.