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This page refers to the Performance and Accountability Framework, an intergovernmental document that assigned various reporting responsibilities to the former National Health Performance Authority. From 1 July 2016, activities related to reporting against the indicators contained in the Framework are the responsibility of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Selection criteria for the Authority performance indicators


Table 1.1: Policy criteria for the Authority performance indicators

Performance indicator criteria


Relevance and appropriateness for policy makers

The performance measure covers an area or subject of key importance in terms of: the impact on health outcomes, and/or a significant area of health system policy focus. Reporting against the indicator is likely to help decision makers identify opportunities for improvement across both public and private sectors.

Avoidance of perverse incentives

The measure has been tested for unintended consequences. Ensure that, as far as possible, the measure avoids encouraging perverse incentives. Where appropriate, this may be done by balancing complementary indicators.

Relevance to NHHN agreement and the NHRA

Performance indicators should be targeted at one or more of the agreed criteria on what should be measured under the NHHN reforms. Presently, these are captured in the NHRA and relate to:

  • access to services;
  • quality of service delivery;
  • financial responsibility; and
  • patient outcomes and experience.

Further, new service and financial performance standards should draw on National Healthcare Agreement indicators and the work of the ACSQHC where possible.

Scientific soundness

Table 1.2: Scientific soundness criteria for the Authority performance indicators

Performance indicator criteria



The measure accurately reflects the event or activity it purports to measure.
Changes in the performance indicator are able to be quantified in a scientifically sound manner.


There are no data gaps.
Results do not vary because of unrelated factors such as who has performed the data collection.
Data is able to be collected in the same way from the same sources.
There are not significant data delays that compromise the usefulness of the data.
Data agencies and relevant experts are in agreement that the indicator can be reliably and accurately measured and reported.


The measure reflects outcomes that are substantially attributable to the component of the health system being assessed.
A healthcare provider with higher (or lower as appropriate) performance against the indicator would be considered a high performing provider.
There is adequate scientific evidence or professional consensus supporting a link between the performance of the indicator and the overall outcome being measured.


The measure readily allows for comparisons:

  • over time (see ability to measure progress over time);
  • at the desired levels of disaggregation (e.g. allows comparisons to be drawn between hospitals, across LHNs, etc.);
  • between target groups (e.g. by Indigenous status); and
  • across the public and private sectors.

Ability to measure progress over time

Indicator is sensitive enough to provide meaningful information about performance between reporting periods.
Data will be comparable and remain useful over time, including that baseline data is available.
Data is collected at intervals that align with the required reporting frequency.


Table 1.3: Efficiency criteria for the Authority performance indicators

Performance indicator criteria


Administratively simple and cost effective

Assess the costs of data collection, collation and interpretation. Consider whether the expected benefits of reporting against the indicators outweigh the administrative burden and costs of data collection.
Consider whether other measures may offer the same or similar information relating to performance for a lower cost.
Utilise existing data sets wherever possible.