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National Clinical Terminology Service

The National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) is operated by the Australian Digital Health Agency, and is responsible for managing, developing and distributing national clinical terminologies and related tools and services to support the digital health requirements of the Australian healthcare community. This responsibility includes being the Australian National Release Centre for SNOMED CT on behalf of SNOMED International.

The NCTS’s terminology solutions include SNOMED CT-AU and the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT).

Tools and services available to users include:

Find out more at


SNOMED CT is the most comprehensive multilingual health terminology in the world. It includes concepts covering clinical findings, procedures, observables, body structures, organisms, substances, and pharmaceutical/biologic products and more.

SNOMED CT-AU is the Australian extension to SNOMED CT and provides local variations and customisation of terms relevant to the Australian healthcare community.

It is updated monthly and is available for free to SNOMED CT and Australian National Terminology licence holders in several formats:

Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT)

The AMT is a formal subset of SNOMED CT-AU and delivers unique codes and terminology to accurately describe all commonly used medicines in Australia. It was developed to be implemented in clinical information systems to support electronic medication management activities, including prescribing, recording, review, dispense, administration and transfer of information.

It is updated every month to include changes and additions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). AMT is available for free to SNOMED CT and Australian National Terminology licence holders as part of the SNOMED CT-AU release.

Open Source Software

The Agency also provides an open source repository via Github, where developers can access and collaborate on a number of software libraries and tools which can aid in implementing terminology solutions.

The following are examples of what can be accessed:

  • Hotspot – a web site that sits in front of a FHIR terminology server and provides a human-friendly rendering
  • Sctau sample scripts – Sample relational database load scripts and SQL queries for processing SNOMED CT-AU RF2 release files
  • SNOMED OWL toolkit – The official SNOMED CT OWL Toolkit. OWL conversion, classification and authoring support
  • Medserve – FHIR Medication server that makes it easy to make medicines terminology content available as a local service

The github repository can be found here:

Developer guides