Approval standards and guidelines: data flow diagram

Acceptance typical: knowledge circulation diagram

When will have to this standard be achieved

This normal should be met for all apps to entry UKHSA details classified as ‘Protected’.


  1. The application have to contain a knowledge move diagram to visualise how the facts will be processed. It will have to document:
  • all the entities (persons, organisations and methods) concerned in processing the information, in portion or in total
  • the process boundaries (such as regardless of whether data will be processed strictly inside of the British isles and European Financial Area (EEA))
  • the facts flows in between each and every entity
  • the procedures the facts will go via
  • all information outlets, these kinds of as data files, repositories or secure havens that keep details for afterwards use and allow for for data to be retrieved

2. The information circulation diagram ought to use standardised notations and include a essential. Illustrations are offered in the accompanying suggestions to this acceptance typical.

3. The information stream diagram must comprise adequate detail to support UKHSA to, at a glance, have an understanding of:

  • the associations in between diverse entities included in the proposed info processing
  • how the info will be managed throughout the facts lifecycle, up to and including the efficient destruction
  • how vital procedures, together with details linkage or the software of decide outs will be managed and the details flows vital to enable this sort of procedures to come about
  • if data is acquired from other sources than UKHSA
  • if there are any transfers of the details, which includes global transfers
  • wherever the information will be saved at relaxation, this sort of as use of cloud processing

4. The details movement diagram will have to be consistent with all other information and facts submitted in the application and to other approval bodies.


A details move diagram is a visualisation instrument applied to illustrate how information flows by means of a system or method. It contains info inputs and outputs, information retailers, and the many subprocesses the info moves by way of. The layout and complexity of a information stream diagram can vary dependent on the process it represents. It can be as simple as an outline of a typical process or as in-depth as a multi-amount treatment.

As aspect of your application, you are asked to deliver a info circulation diagram. The diagram must be made based on the complexity of the undertaking.

When creating a data stream diagram, it is most effective to start off with greater level (context) diagrams and decompose procedures to decreased ranges of depth as needed. This will help you in making certain that it is apparent which organisations or programs will be involved, as very well as exhibiting a clear being familiar with of all techniques that will be taken when processing the information.

Case in point of a details flow diagram

Instance 1 displays an illustrative info stream diagram submitted to UKHSA.

The primary applicant in this application wishes to send out a survey to persons who have been identified with COVID-19 and intends to commission a business to mail the study on their behalf. 

The applicant would like UKHSA to identify people that could be invited to take part in the study. They are fascinated in sending the study only to men and women who have experienced a positive lateral stream check inside a 3-thirty day period time period in 2021.

Using the Second Era Syndromic Surveillance System, UKHSA will establish people to mail the study to and securely mail this list to the study supplier. This survey service provider will then article the study to everybody that is suitable to be invited, following essential checks are performed on their addresses and to verify if they are alive. 

In this example, the study service provider is a knowledge processor acting beneath instruction of the principal applicant (the info controller). This usually means they can only course of action the info to the actual specifications of the most important applicant. They will be instructed to:

  • confirm the address facts of each and every particular person
  • validate no matter if the human being is alive to make certain that the surveys are not despatched to anyone that has died
  • deliver copies of the survey and other review materials to each prospective participant
  • consolidate the responses of absolutely everyone that normally takes aspect
  • ship repeated reviews to the most important applicant about responses prices
  • supply a remaining dataset to the major applicant that contains every person who has finished the study

When the study has finished and responses have been consolidated by the survey service provider, they will mail the survey responses again to the primary applicant. The most important applicant will retail store the facts in a personal cloud support that is commissioned by their organisation and use the knowledge in their examination for their investigation.

The details move diagram in Illustration 1 works by using the Gane and Sarson typical notation to depict the diagram’s 4 major components: external entities, system, details store, and information stream.

It describes the interactions between the controller and the processor and gives ample information to describe how and by whom the info will be processed. It states that the info merchants might include servers found in 3rd-social gathering international locations (nations that do not have comparable facts protection expectations as in the Uk or EEA).


Illustrations of notation made use of in info stream diagrams are thorough beneath and taken from the procedures described by:

Yourdon (1989) and DeMarco (1978):

  • circles depict procedures
  • squares or rectangles denote external entities
  • horizontal parallel lines symbolise facts storage
  • arrows show information flow

Gane and Sarson (1979):

  • rounded rectangles symbolize processes
  • squares or rectangles denote external entities
  • open up-ended rectangles symbolise details storage
  • arrows indicate details circulation

It is suggested that 1 of these standardised approaches is used in your info circulation diagram.


1. Yourdon E. ‘Modern Structured Analysis’ Yourdon Push computing series 1989

2. DeMarco T. ‘Structured Evaluation and Technique Specification’ Yourdon Press computing collection 1978

3. Gane C and Sarson T. ‘Structured Devices Analysis’ Prentice-Corridor application series 1979

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