In its 10th anniversary year, the Strategic Mailing Partnership has joined the Postcode Address File (PAF) Advisory Board.

The move coincides not only with the SMP’s anniversary but with the 60th birthday of the postcode system itself.

The seat will be taken by Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the SMP, who joins representatives of various sectors and organisations that rely on the PAF such as downstream access carriers and direct marketing organisations.

The PAF itself is the most up-to-date and comprehensive address database in the country, with around 28 million addresses. On average, it receives around 1.5 million updates every year.

The board was established in 2007 to offer independent advice to Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, that maintains the UK’s postcode database. Included in its remit are addressing disputes, promoting the use of good addressing and promoting data hygiene.

Issues typically raised with the PAF include postcodes for new housing developments and virtual postcodes for British forces personnel serving overseas (BFPO addresses). PAF data provides information for satellite navigation systems and digital maps as well as fraud prevention over the phone and online. More than 37,000 businesses and 64 million residents use PAF information every day in the UK.

In July this year, Royal Mail added 23,000 delivery points to the file, bringing the total number of delivery points to more than 30.5 million and the number of postcodes to more than 1.76 million.

Judith commented: “We are delighted to have a seat on the PAF Board. This is excellent news for members as it means they can come straight to the right person if they are experiencing issues with the postcode file, which in the long-term can save them both time and money.

“It is pertinent that this comes not only in the 60th year of the postcode but also in our 10th anniversary year, further underlining the benefits that membership of the SMP can bring.”

The SMP is the only known specialist supply chain network for post in Europe, representing mailing houses of varying sizes and turnovers.

The group ensures that members’ specialist skillsets and knowledge are made visible to Royal Mail in order to achieve a consultative approach to its products, operations and market development.

For more information about the SMP, visit: