There are 2 routes that you can take to ensure your email meets the secure email standard (DCB1596)

  1. NHSmail
  2. Secure email accreditation

For each option, you must first complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit to at least ‘approaching standards’.

Which should I choose?

A list of the pros and cons for NHSmail and secure email accreditation

It is up to each organisation to decide which form of email you want to use.


Providers are strongly encouraged to communicate their strategy regarding NHSmail/secure email to all sites/branches, so that when approached by local commissioners they can respond accordingly. In particular, they should be made aware of your policy regarding individual NHSmail applications via the National Administration Service, as commissioners will often encourage providers to do this.


If you would like to discuss secure email accreditation or NHSmail with NHS Digital, please contact the NHSmail team on You will receive a response within 5 working days.