Yes, NCASS Membership is required. The Digital SMS (DSMS) is included with all membership tiers and is just one of the many great benefits available to NCASS members.  


No. The Digital SMS is included within NCASS membership, so will not cost you anything extra, making your NCASS membership even better value. You will still receive the paper format/folder SMS but can use the Digital SMS instead of or alongside elements of the paper version.  

The number of units/premises a member can utilise within the Digital SMS is based on their membership tier and, consequently, the number of risk assessment sets they possess. 

Standard – 1 / Premium – 3 / Plus – 5 / Pro – 20

The Digital SMS facilitates the following checks to support with relevant trading matters: Opening, Fridge/Freezer, Deliveries, LPG Safety, Electrical Safety, Cooking/Reheating, Hot Holding, Cooling, Cleaning, Closing, Weekly Review, Monthly Review.

All the checks are saved within the Digital SMS and can be easily retrieved and reviewed. 

Yes, the Digital SMS allows for the bespoke production of an Allergen Matrix which can be updated with just a few clicks to reflect changes to menus or ingredients. The completed Matrix can then also be shared via a QR code and so can be easily viewed by staff and customers. 

The Compliance Manual which is packed full of useful compliance information relevant to food safety, health and safety and fire safety can be opened and viewed within the Digital SMS. It can be searched for keywords to allow specific information to easily be found by staff. The Compliance Manual is accessed via the ellipsis menu (3 dots) in the top right-hand corner of the Unit Selection Page (Home screen) or the Unit Overview Page. 

The following Additional Resources are included in the Digital SMS as reflected in the Daily Diary: Gas Safety Checklist, Electrical Safety Checklist, Cleaning Checklist, Allergen Matrix.

The rest of the Additional Resources as they are laid out in the paper format/folder of the SMS are not included at this stage, so you still will have the option to use the resources in your folder version of the SMS or you can download additional copies from them from the member website:

All risk assessments (Food, Fire H & S) that have been completed and saved within the Member Dashboard can be viewed in the Digital SMS. Within the ‘Documents’ section you can access all ‘Company Documents’ from the Member Dashboard (including COSHH, H&S Policy, insurance certificates etc). This is useful because, within a few clicks, you can have all your uploaded compliance documents to hand. 

Please note: Only the membership account holder can access the Member Dashboard from the Digital SMS. Document creation, editing, and uploading must be done directly within the Member Dashboard. For instance, while you can view risk assessments in the Digital SMS, you cannot create or edit them there. To perform these actions, the membership account holder must log in to the Member Dashboard and use the online risk assessment tools and/or upload their documents. 

No. You don’t need to duplicate the checks.  We recommend that you choose your preferred format (either paper or digital) of SMS for completing your daily trading checks e.g. opening checks, cleaning checks, fridge/freezer, temperature checks etc.   

You will continue to receive the same number of SMS systems (folders) that you are entitled to, relative to your membership tier as well as access to the Digital SMS (Number of units/premises accessible is also determined membership tier). This way you can experience both systems and determine your preference.  

The checks set out in the Digital SMS reflect those set out in the Daily Diary but can be facilitated through a phone/tablet, therefore alleviating the need for paper recording and the transportation of all recording folders/systems back and forth to trading sites.   

If you prefer, you can combine elements of the paper format with the Digital SMS. For example, you might continue to use Additional Resources, store printed risk assessments and training certificates in your Safety Management System folders and refer to the Compliance Manual in its bound book format. However, since you can use the Digitial SMS to evidence all recordings and checks, you won’t need to complete the paper version of the Daily Diary as well, e.g. doing opening checks and temperature checks etc.

Yes. As part of the routine inspection process, an EHO will check to ensure you are correctly implementing your Safety Management System and keeping records. This will include checking to ensure the relevant food hygiene and safety checks have been carried out. Consistently implementing the relevant checks within the Digital SMS will enable you to evidence this. 

EHOs are increasingly familiar with viewing compliance records in digital formats. This should mean this format will not be unfamiliar to them.   

During routine inspections, it will be acceptable for you to show an EHO how you use the Digital SMS on your device to complete your compliance checks.  

The Digital SMS is reflective of the technical content in the paper SMS which is Primary Authority Assured. The Royal Borough of Greenwich have reviewed the Digital SMS and have provided specific Primary Authority assurance for this system. 

NCASS will continue to update EHOs on the Digital SMS and providing them with information to support their familiarisation, so they will be prepared for our members using the Digital SMS.   

If an EHO has concerns in relation to the content of the Digital SMS then they are directed to contact us and our Primary Authority partners, Royal Borough of Greenwich, with their feedback.

Yes. A reporting mechanism is available within the Digital SMS within a few clicks you will be able to download a PDF report of your daily/weekly or monthly trading checks, including the actions reported and resolved and evidence that the weekly and monthly reviews have been completed

Yes. The reporting and download feature compiles evidence of your compliance checks and due diligence into a tabulated report, which can be printed or attached to an email. You can generate this report based on the dates or timeline you select. This will enable you to demonstrate or evidence your compliance and thus, it is a convenient tool for supporting routine inspections, spot checks, event applications, and formal regulatory investigations, such as allegations of food poisoning. 

For the video on how to download a report see the video:

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The terms and conditions can be found here:

terms and conditions

Your SMS FAQs answered guide

We understand that the world of compliance and the role of this documentation can feel overwhelming and confusing. As such, we’ve answered the 10 most frequently asked questions around the SMS and risk assessments.

Download for FREE

Your SMS FAQs answered guide

We understand that the world of compliance and the role of this documentation can feel overwhelming and confusing. As such, we’ve answered the 10 most frequently asked questions around the SMS and risk assessments.

Download for free