Releases and implementing Change

Changes to the BSC, Code Subsidiary Documents and other Configurable Items and to BSC Agent Software systems and associated documentation are implemented through a programme of BSC System Releases.

What is a Release?

A Release is a packet of approved Modifications and Change Proposals which are usually all implemented on the same date (although occasional Releases may have more than one Implementation Date).

Releases allow multiple changes to be implemented at once, gives the industry a degree of certainty around the dates when changes will be implemented and gives Parties and Party Agents sufficient time to plan the changes to their systems and processes which are required to meet the new and amended requirements.

Different types of Releases

Standard Releases

There are three planned Releases each year, which are usually scheduled for:

  • February Release – the last Thursday in February
  • June Release – the last Thursday in June
  • November Release – the first Thursday in November

Most Modifications and Change Proposals will be targeted for one of these Standard Releases, as it is often more efficient to implement a bundle of changes together in a Release.

A Standard Release will not take place if there are no approved Modifications or Change Proposals to implement.

Additionally, if there is only a small number of Change Proposals scheduled for a Release but there is no business case for implementing them at that time, the Release will not take place and the changes will instead be implemented in the next appropriate Release.

Non-Standard Releases

Non-Standard Releases are any Releases, which take place outside of a Standard, or Special Release. Should a particular change have a need to be implemented on a specific Implementation Date outside of one of the Standard Releases, a non-Standard Release will be scheduled.

Typically, non-Standard Releases are scheduled for Regulatory driven changes.

Special Releases

Special Releases are required for those Modifications which have a recommended Implementation Date of [five] Working Days following Ofgem approval.

Typically, Special Releases are scheduled for low-impact and/or governance driven changes. The exact Implementation Date is only known following Ofgem approval, which is what makes Special Releases different from Standard and non-Standard Releases.

Communicating Releases to industry

The details for each Release are published on the relevant Release webpage to ensure that you are ready to implement the changes on the relevant Implementation Date. This information will generally include as appropriate:

  • The changes approved for inclusion in the Release;
  • A list of all the impacted documents and copies of the approved redlined changes for those documents;
  • A list of all the interfaces between BSC Central Services and Parties and Party Agents that would change and an explanation of how;
  • Business Requirements Solution (BRS) documents for complex changes;
  • The Release Test Strategy and any test files for use in Participant Testing or to assist participants in testing their own systems; and
  • Key dates for industry input.

Please note that not all of the above information will be published on the Release webpage from the outset; these pages are updated regularly during the lifetime of the Release.

Keeping up-to-date

In addition, Release Circulars are issued to provide important information and to request document reviews, and articles are published in our newsletter, Newscast, to remind you of any important events.

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