What is a Global Service Relation Number?

A Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) is the GS1 Identification Key used to identify the relationship  between the organisation offering the service and either the service provider or the service recipient. This  unique identifier is comprised of a GS1 Company Prefix, a Service Reference, and a Check Digit.


What is a GSRN used for?

The GSRN is a simple tool used to identify a service relationship between a business and a client.  GSRNs can identify business relationships between businesses or individuals. They do not identify a  business or individual specifically for purposes other than the service being provided and therefore do  not raise privacy concerns. In simple terms, a company or business will issue a GSRN to a customer to  identify their relationship. The “customer” could be a club member, a member of a loyalty program, or a  patient being admitted to a hospital. The GSRN will be the key that links the customer to a database to  identify the specific detail of the service offered and the contract with the individual.

The function of a GSRN is to provide an identification point that can be used to retrieve information held  in a database associated with that particular service relationship. The GSRN may be produced as a GS1-  128 or GS1 DataMatrix barcode, encoded in an Electronic Product Code (EPC®)–enabled Radio  Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, and printed on the document as a method of identification or for  detail or information retrieval.


Key Attributes of the GSRN

The GSRN will identify each service relationship individually, thus assuring that relationships are always  identified correctly anywhere within a business or throughout the world. An individual may have many  GSRNs from different service providers. It is the organization offering the service that allocates the  GSRN, therefore there is no danger of any of the individual’s other service relationships being linked.

The GSRN itself has no meaning, so the service relationship can be looked up in a secure database and  its associated information retrieved only by the service provider. Because GSRNs are based on the GS1  System, derived using a GS1 Company Prefix and a Service Reference, allocation of numbers is simple

and uniqueness guaranteed.

If your business has service relationships with individuals and you want to be able to identify your  customers accurately, GSRN is a simple tool to enable this capability. A GSRN can be assigned by a  company anywhere in the world and can be used anywhere in the world.


Business Benefits of Using GSRNs

There are a number of benefits to using the GSRN to identify service relationships:

      The structure of the GSRN and its assignment rules are administered by GS1®, a not-for-profit  standards organization, and is supported by implementation guidance, business examples, and  maintenance.

      GSRN is a simple coding system used to facilitate service relationships with almost limitless  capacity. It identifies the business relationship with the customer for the life of the service.

      The GSRN can be used throughout world with no need for trading partner(s) to assign proprietary  numbers to ensure uniqueness.

      Already an established standard for identifying service relationships, the GSRN uses the same GS1  Standards that are used in many other business applications. If you are already using GS1

      Standards to identify products or locations, it’s easy to extend your use to identify service  relationships as well.

      The GSRN enables companies to scan an individual’s membership card to identify the service  efficiently.

      The GSRN allows the organization offering the service, rather than a third party, to allocate GSRNs.

      The GSRN guards against mis-identification and fraud.

      The GSRN facilitates development of customer loyalty.

      GSRNs can be encoded in barcode symbols and/or EPC-enabled RFID tags and in human-readable  text.

How is the GSRN formed?

GSRNs are composed of the following fields:


      AI (8017) is used to identify the service relationship between the organization offering the  service and the Service Provider.

      AI (8018) is used to identify the service relationship between the organization offering the  service and the Service Recipient. Example shown below.

      GS1 COMPANY PREFIX: A globally unique number issued to a GS1 member company

      SERVICE REFERENCE: The number allocated to identify the type of service provided

      CHECK DIGIT: A modulo 10 digit used to check for input errors


Application  Identifier

GS1 Company Prefix

Service Reference

Check  Digit





















NOTE: GSRN is an 18-digit numerical number, including the Check Digit. The combined  length of the GS1 Company Prefix and Service Reference will always total 17 digits.

The following steps are used to form GSRNs:

1. START WITH YOUR GS1 COMPANY PREFIX. Your GS1 Company Prefix is the globally unique  number issued to your company by GS1 US® or another GS1 Member Organization. GS1 Company  Prefixes are assigned to companies in varying lengths. Some GS1 US members may have a prefix  certificate that shows only a U.P.C. Company Prefix (formerly a UCC Company Prefix). A U.P.C.  Company Prefix must be converted to a GS1 Company Prefix for use in the GSRN. This is  accomplished by adding a zero to the front of the U.P.C. Company Prefix. The following table  illustrates the conversion of a U.P.C. Company Prefix to a GS1 Company Prefix for use with GSRNS.

Figure 5-2 Conversion of a U.P.C. Company Prefix to a GS1 Company Prefix for GSRNs

U.P.C. Company Prefix

Converted to GS1 Company Prefix








An Introduction to the Global Service Relation Number (GSRN)

  1. CREATE THE SERVICE REFERENCEThe Service Reference is assigned by you, the holder of the  GS1 Company Prefix, to uniquely identify a type of service within your company. The Service  Reference varies in length as a function of the GS1 Company Prefix length. Note that the combined  length of the GS1 Company Prefix and Service Reference Number is always 17 digits.

Hint: Assign your Service References sequentially, and do not build any intelligence into the  number. The scheme that defines a particular Service Reference range as having a set  meaning today will mean nothing a short time into the future when your company  reorganises, buys or merges with another firm, or another staff member takes over GIAI  assignment duties.

  1. CALCULATE THE CHECK DIGIT. The Check Digit is a calculated one-digit number used to validate  data integrity.