First steps for suppliers

Scan4Safety is based on the adoption of GS1 standards for the unique identification of every person, every product, and every place known as the three core enablers.

Compliance is achieved through the successful implementation of each of these core enablers to deliver improvements to patient safety.

Nine steps to getting started

1. Become a member of GS1 to obtain your GS1 Company Prefix (GCP)

You will need a GCP so you can form product and location identifiers.

This will enable you to generate Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) for your product(s) and Global Location Numbers (GLNs) for your company and any significant locations.

To join GS1 or find out if your company is already a member, contact the GS1 UK healthcare team on   

2. Allocate a GS1 location identifier for your company

Global Location Numbers (GLNs) are used to identify your company as a supplier to the NHS. This becomes your globally unique supplier code.

3. Register your GLN in LocationManager

You will also need to register your GLN(s) in the NHS GLN registry LocationManager, so they can be shared with the NHS organisations you trade with.

Find out more about LocationManager at:

4. Add the relevant NHS GLNs to your company systems

Ensure the GLNs for the NHS organisation you trade with are listed in your internal systems so they can be used for purchase to pay (P2P). 

5. Allocate your GTINs to your products

Either using GS1 UK Numberbank or your own system, allocate a unique GTIN to each of your products and any predefined packaging configurations, i.e. cartons and cases. 

6. Choose the correct GS1 barcode

The barcode required will depend on the data that you need to capture, the packaging levels and the supply chain. The GS1-128 and or the GS1 DataMatrix will be required to capture the product production information such as the expiry date/LOT etc. alongside the GTIN to identify the product.

7. Verify your barcodes with GS1 UK

To make sure your barcodes are accurate and scannable, you can get your barcodes verified by GS1 UK before printing them on your packaging. This will check the barcode type, the data structure, the size and the scanning quality. 

8. Implement electronic orders and invoices using the Peppol standard with GS1 identifiers

Peppol stands for Pan-European public procurement online. Using Peppol enables cross-border eProcurement via the Peppol network to provide standards-based business process interoperability.

9. Find a Peppol Access Point provider

In order to meet purchase-to-pay requirements, you will need to have a Peppol access point provider so you can access the Peppol network to exchange information electronically, such as purchase orders and invoices.

You will need to sign up to and then integrate with a Peppol Access Point. A full list is available at

Contact us to get started

If you would like to find out more about the NHS England Transformation Directorate’s Scan4Safety work, please email the Scan4Safety team via the link below.

For further information about adopting GS1 standards please contact GS1 UK via the link below.