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DRS reference number

All reviews will be registered in the departmental review system (DRS) with a DRS reference number. This number uniquely identifies a review within DRS and is made up of:

  • a prefix to identify whether the review is a specific or compliance review, eg the prefix S indicates a specific review in the number S-482035-018-01; a C would indicate a compliance review
  • the UIN for the primary client, eg S-482035-018-01
  • a three-digit number indicating the number of specific and compliance reviews undertaken for that client, eg S-482035-018-01
  • a two-digit number indicating whether this is a primary review (01) or a linked review or appeal (02, 03 etc), eg S-482035-018-01.



The Departmental Review System (DRS) has been developed to semi-automate department-initiated processes for compliance review exercises and individual examiner-initiated specific review, and to promote a consistent approach to review processing. Some of the main features of the system are:

  • streamlined processes for selecting high risk assessments for review and initiating compliance review exercises
  • form and letter generation appropriate to the review reason and review stage
  • scanning of barcodes on the return of the form to the office, to automatically advance the CMS case stage
  • online presentation of compliance exercise details and outcomes
  • online historical record of reviews undertaken for each pension assessment and their outcomes
  • detailed and high-level reporting on the outcomes of reviews
  • improved monitoring and reporting for review processing

Further information about DRS is available on the following intranet page:

DRS User Guide


A compliance review is a risk-based, department-initiated review based on risk profiling. Risk profiling identifies assessments containing high-risk characteristics such as volatile income and asset items.  Examples of risk groups are pensioners who have not had their income and assets reviewed for a number of years or assessments with high-risk property that has not been revalued for many years.

A specific review is an event-based, department-initiated review, based on anticipated or known changes to a pensioner's personal or financial circumstances, likely to impact on the rate of pension.

Examples include:

  • earnings review
  • review of circumstances following notification of a changed address
  • post-bereavement review

A subsequent review case created in the Departmental review system (DRS), to be linked to the original review case. Linking reviews enables DRS to report on the total payment outcomes of a review action even though more than one CMS case is involved. Further information about linked reviews can be found in the DRS User Guide.


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