Metadata describes and gives information about data, it provides meaning and context by describing how data is defined, structured and represented. It can also be used to explain how data are captured and support the accurate interpretation of data. Robust metadata is essential for the effective management and use of data. For more information on metadata development and support see Our Services/Metadata Support. Important to consistent robust metadata, is a central national registry.

METEOR – a central national registry

AIHW’s Metadata Online Registry, METEOR, is Australia's repository for national metadata standards for health, housing and community services. The National Health Information Agreement mandates that METEOR is used by all signatories. METEOR provides online access to a wide range of nationally endorsed data standards, which users can find, view and download. METEOR is Australia’s repository for national data standards in the following sectors:

  • health
  • community services
  • housing assistance
  • homelessness
  • early childhood.

METEOR is based on the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission 11179 Metadata Registries (ISO/IEC 11179). This standard specifies the semantics used for data descriptions and how they are represented and registered. This helps standardise, harmonise and manage metadata (independent of originating organisations). This, in turn, ensures quality and improves accuracy and comparability of data.

METEOR training

The AIHW offers training in metadata concepts and development. Various forms of METEOR training can be tailored to meet organisational needs (for example, general user training, data developer and registrar). Existing users have ongoing access to METEOR’s on-line tutorials for additional support.

The help page in METEOR has additional information on navigating METEOR, understanding metadata development, and requests for training. General information, such as meanings of terms used in METEOR (for example, registration authorities) rather than actual metadata items, is accessible through the search help box in the left hand navigation pane of METEOR. Contextual help icons () provide more details for associated fields.

AIHW commits to developing a replacement METeOR system

The AIHW is in the process of developing a new METEOR Metadata online register to replace the existing METeOR system. The replacement Metadata online register is being developed in-house, building and improving on the existing system features and functionality. Using Microsoft Azure cloud-based technologies, the system is being built upon modern technology providing an improved user experience including a modern user interface and enhanced features.

Development of the new METEOR Metadata online register is scheduled to be completed in late 2021. The new METEOR system will incorporate the existing indicator and data framework, which is robust, suitable and allows for further refinement. In addition to the new system, a new Operating Model and a support framework is being explored to ensure that the technology, its metadata, people and processes are properly supported going forward. This will ensure that business processes for the whole metadata lifecycle for the health and welfare sectors are enabled and supported.

As the project progresses, further information will be available to stakeholders through the AIHW website and your key AIHW contacts.

Contact details

AIHW Metadata and METEOR Unit

Email [email protected] (include ‘METEOR’ in the subject line)

Phone +61 2 6244 1222