Supporting research in the NHS in England– better managing excess treatment costs

Last updated on 4 Dec 2018

The way in which excess treatment costs (ETCs) are met is changing, addressing the frustrations expressed by researchers, commissioners and providers about the complexity and variation in previous processes.

This change is being managed by a partnership of organisations across the research landscape, including the HRA, Department of Health and Social Care, the National Institute for Health Research, NHS England and others, ensuring a consistency of approach and a more streamlined process.

This five minute video outlines the new arrangements and their benefits:

Ongoing studies, where CCGs are the responsible commissioner and open to recruitment after 1 October 2018 will be transitioned into the new arrangements. Ongoing studies where specialised commissioning is the responsible commissioner will not be transitioned. 

the Association of Medical Research Charities has published a blog on what this means for funders, as well as a Q&A about the changes to the way in which ETCs are paid

Defining ETC values for each study

To underpin the new arrangements, a cost attribution tool has been created in partnership with charity funders and research sponsors.

The Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) has been developed from our own current Schedule of Events and is designed to capture the different costs associated with clinical research and attribute them, according to AcoRD principles, as part of the application for research funding.


The tool and supporting guidance can be downloaded from the NIHR website, but please report any SoECAT functionality issues or improvement suggestions directly to us via:

Non-commercial research sponsors have a responsibility to ensure studies are appropriately costed and attributed

Attribution support is available for investigators, study teams and their sponsors through the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network. Find out more about how to access this support from the NIHR website

Completion of SoECAT at application for research funding will be required for studies eligible for the NIHR portfolio and the support this provides, which will include access to ETC payments under the new arrangements.

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