ProClass Newsletter - November 2009

Pro Class & Coding International
Pro Class & Coding International

Welcome to the ProClass Newsletter!

ProClass is now widely becoming adopted across most authorities in the UK. This newsletter is to keep everyone updated on the recent changes and additions to the ProClass Classification, mappings, website, forum, training events and other related events. The newsletter is intended to be a quick read with many of the articles offering links to further information. To ensure we continue to capture the most important issues from across the public services arena, we would appreciate ProClass users sending any related articles for future editions. Please send them to Please forward this newsletter to any of your colleagues who may be interested in ProClass.

Latest News

Coding International Ltd (CIL) was reappointed by the ProClass Board to continue to manage ProClass for the next 3 years.

Capital Ambition the London RIEP has commissioned CIL to Map their Account Descriptions to ProClass Headings for most of the London Boroughs. This will provide a massive amount of procurement spend detail on approximately £7bn. It will provide information from which significant savings will be possible, and show the way to collaborationon a scale previously impossible. Soon case studies will be released showing the impact of this project on the Local Authorities and Capital Ambition. Please see Latest Case Studies

Backing from the RIEPS

It was realised in 2004 that all local authorities across England were using different methods to record procurement spend, with varying degrees of effectiveness. This was proving to be a barrier to collaboration and savings. Following a review involving 4 LAs it was apparent that a basic simple classification structure was needed. This would enable councils to easily aggregate purchases in a simple but effective way that would support collaborative working through the use of Expenditure Analysis, which would lead to savings. ProClass has been created specifically for local government use to achieve this goal and is now adopted by 8 out of the 9 RIEPS. The headings have been refined and improved with users help over the years, to make the ProClass headings ideal for collecting information on spend. All new releases have to be agreed by the ProClass Management Board which was set up in 2007 and comprises 1 representative per RIEP.

Pro Class & Coding International

Version Control & Release

The first quality assured and standardized version of ProClass is C8.2. The next version to be released was version C8.3. with the numbered version C8.3N. Following requests from users through the Forum it was agreed that for all future numbered versions after C8.3N, the numbers would stay the same even if the headings were moved. ProClass is still intended to be used in a written format, so is therefore mainly in alphabetical order. The numbered version is for computer use only, so is not intended to be used for grouping similar headings together. The latest version is C9.1 and C9.1N was released by the Management Board on 3rd June 2009.

Please note that for all authorities to get all the benefits from ProClass it is very important that only the official version of ProClass is used and local versions are not created as these are not supported. For the same reason it is also important that data is moved to the latest version of ProClass as soon as possible so as not to run the risk of outdated information. With the above change to the numbering this makes it very easy to change all existing data with the minimum of staff time.

Main Changes in Version C9.1

The main changes in vC9.1 are to do with 'Consultancy'. Some headings within Consultancy were very similar to other headings under specific categories. E.g. 'Consultancy, Housing, Arms Length Management Organisations' is similar to'Housing Management, Outsourced' which would be a more specific location. Where possible these have now been moved over. The main emphasis of ProClass is to classify what was purchased, not how it was provided, otherwise all services could be classified as Consultancy. Also some Second Level headings have been replaced with the third level when they did not add any additional information.

Emergency Services Headings

It has been recognised that the emergency services have a need for special headings within ProClass that would not be required by the majority of ProClass users. It was therefore decided that rather than add these special headings to the main classification, it would be more appropriate to have them is a special Emergency Services (ES) Module. This module can be downloaded from the ProClass website:

Latest UNSPSC and NHS-eClass

Both these classifications have recently issued new versions. The latest version of UNSPSC is v111201 and was released in August 2009. This is available from the UNSPSC website. The latest NHS-eClass - S2, was issued on 3rd July 2009. This is available for download from the PASA website:

ProClass Website

The ProClass website is still very popular with 2,688 sessions being accessed so far this year by over a 1,000 unique visitors. It is always the best source for the latest version of ProClass, plus previous versions. It also contains interesting case studies with guidance on how to implement ProClass. Mappings to other hierarchies are downloadable, plus you can join the ProClass Forum.


ProClass is mapped to the very latest versions of NSV, NHS-eClass, UNSPSC and Thomson. These mappings are available on the ProClass website and kept constantly up to date.Currently ProClass is mapped to UNSPSC V11.1201 and NHS-eClass S2. All the mappings are to the ‘best fit of the other headings’. If a complete list is required, this is available at a small extra charge. The mapping to CPV will be released in the near future.


The Forum keeps everyone up to date with version releases and where changes or additions are proposed and discussed. To register as a forum user, go to the ProClass website, then to the Forum and click on Register. After accepting the rules choose a username and password, then enter all the other details required, plus what notifications you require, then click on Register. Once accepted you are able to ask questions about ProClass, suggest changes or additions and take part in all the discussions on other peoples suggestions. There are areas for asking general questions concerning other procurement coding and classifications and even non coding areas.

Please use the forum to make and discuss changes or send them to: - everyones views areimportant.

ProClass Training Seminars

Training seminars are available to all authorities and are free of charge. The programme will help attendees to:

  • Use ProClass properly and have confidence that it is the right choice
  • Hear about authorities which have tested and proven ProClass and its recommended methodologies
  • Learn how to use ProClass to support corporate goals of effective collaboration, improved shared services and realistic business case development
  • Understand the opportunities to influence and benefit from the ProClass community
  • Network with other authorities who are trying to achieve the same things
If you have not yet had the opportunity to attend one, please suggest to your RIEP that they organise it. Alternatively collaborate with a few other authorities. Please contact Terry Ashmore at CIL if you wish to arrange a seminar.


Every attendee of the seminars is provided with a Toolkit. This includes FAQs, Case studies, guides to both Real Time and Retrospective implementation and a CD with the ProClass Classification. The Toolkit information is also downloadable from the ProClass website:

If you have any queries or require further information, please contact:
Terry Ashmore at CIL on +44(0)23 80 554 111

This email has been sent in partnership with Coding International Ltd.

Coding International Ltd. (CIL) / ProClass
CIL are a specialist Procurement Coding Company. They were re-appointed to manage ProClass from the beginning of February 2009.

Coding International Ltd
Amplevine House,
Dukes Road,
SO14 0ST

Our telephone number: +44(0)23 80 554 111

Our fax number: +44(0)23 80 554 999


Copyright © 2009 Coding International Ltd All rights reserved.