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Vocabulary Work Group Maturity Level: 5Normative Compartments: N/A

Normative Candidate Note: This page is candidate normative content for R4 in the Conformance Package. Once normative, it will lose it's Maturity Level, and breaking changes will no longer be made.

Validate that a coded value is in the set of codes allowed by a value set.

If the operation is not called at the instance level, one of the in parameters url, context or valueSet must be provided. One (and only one) of the in parameters code, coding, or codeableConcept must be provided. The operation returns a result (true / false), an error message, and the recommended display for the code

The official URL for this operation definition is

Formal Definition (as a OperationDefinition).

URL: [base]/ValueSet/$validate-code

URL: [base]/ValueSet/[id]/$validate-code

This is an idempotent operation

In Parameters:

Value set Canonical URL. The server must know the value set (e.g. it is defined explicitly in the server's value sets, or it is defined implicitly by some code system known to the server


The context of the value set, so that the server can resolve this to a value set to validate against. The recommended format for this URI is [Structure Definition URL]#[name or path into structure definition] e.g. Other forms may be used but are not defined. This form is only usable if the terminology server also has access to the conformance registry that the server is using, but can be used to delegate the mapping from an application context to a binding at run-time


The value set is provided directly as part of the request. Servers may choose not to accept value sets in this fashion. This parameter is used when the client wants the server to expand a value set that is not stored on the server


The identifier that is used to identify a specific version of the value set to be used when validating the code. This is an arbitrary value managed by the value set author and is not expected to be globally unique. For example, it might be a timestamp (e.g. yyyymmdd) if a managed version is not available.


The code that is to be validated. If a code is provided, a system or a context must be provided (if a context is provided, then the server SHALL ensure that the code is not ambiguous without a system)


The system for the code that is to be validated


The version of the system, if one was provided in the source data


The display associated with the code, if provided. If a display is provided a code must be provided. If no display is provided, the server cannot validate the display value, but may choose to return a recommended display name in an extension in the outcome. Whether displays are case sensitive is code system dependent


A coding to validate


A full codeableConcept to validate. The server returns true if one of the coding values is in the value set, and may also validate that the codings are not in conflict with each other if more than one is present


The date for which the validation should be checked. Normally, this is the current conditions (which is the default values) but under some circumstances, systems need to validate that a correct code was used at some point in the past. A typical example of this would be where code selection is constrained to the set of codes that were available when the patient was treated, not when the record is being edited. Note that which date is appropriate is a matter for implementation policy.


if true, then an abstract code is allowed to be used in the context of the code that is being validated. Typically, abstract codes are allowed to be used in value set specifications (e.g. any code that is subsumed by an abstract code), but not in an actual recrod. If false (which is the default value), then only concrete codes as defined by the code systemt are allowed


Specifies the language to be used for description when validating the display property

Out Parameters:

True if the concept details supplied are valid


Error details, if result = false. If this is provided when result = true, the message carries hints and warnings


A valid display for the concept if the system wishes to display this to a user

Note: the correct behaviour of validation with regard to language for Coding.display items is currently undefined, and further development and testing may lead to specific requirements or recommendations in subsequent releases

Simple validation of a code/system against a known value set (Request):

GET [base]/ValueSet/23/$validate-code?system=

Validate a CodeableConcept against a client specified value set (Request):

POST [base]/ValueSet/$validate-code
[other headers]

  "ResourceType" : "Parameters",
  "parameter" : [
    "name" : "coding",
    "valueCodeableConcept" : {
      "coding" : {
        "system" : "",
          "code" : "1963-8",
      "display" : "test"
    "name" : "valueSet",
    "resource": {
      "resourceType" : "ValueSet",


HTTP/1.1 200 OK
[other headers]

  "resourceType" : "Parameters",
  "parameter" : [
    "name" : "result",
    "valueBoolean" : "false"
    "name" : "message",
    "valueString" : "The display \"test\" is incorrect"
    "name" : "display",
    "valueString" : "Bicarbonate [Moles/volume] in Serum"


For more information about operations, including how they are invoked, see Operations.