The National Health Data and Information Standards Committee (NHDISC) provides advice to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for its work in developing and maintaining national health data and information standards and related national health information infrastructure, in the context of the National Health Information Agreement (NHIA).

Terms of Reference

The NHDISC will:

  • Oversee the development of, and endorse (by unanimous agreement1amongst all jurisdictions):
    • mandatory National Minimum Data Sets for national collection and reporting;
    • National Best Endeavours Data Sets (a metadata set that is not mandated for national collection but there is a commitment to provide data nationally on a best endeavours basis).
    • National Best Practice Data Sets (a metadata set that is not mandated for collection but is recommended as best practice).
    • Specifications for performance indicators to be reported under the National Healthcare Agreement 2012 and the Australian Health Performance Framework.
    • Data standards for inclusion in the National Health Data Dictionary (housed in the Institute's Metadata Online Repository, known as METEOR) including health related indicator sets.
  • Provide advice to the Institute affecting the national health data and information standards, including:
    • national health information needs and priorities;
    • implications for the statistical system of new and emerging health information issues;
    • national statistical protocols and standards such as: data linkage, geocoding and data anonymisation protocols.
  • Advise the Institute, as the Australian Collaborating Centre for the WHO Family of International Classifications, on the development, implementation and maintenance of the Australian Family of Health and related classifications (including endorsing classifications for inclusion in the Family) and endorse (by unanimous agreement amongst all jurisdictions) maps to classifications to be used for statistical reporting on national health information.
  • Monitor and seek opportunities to improve the identification of Indigenous status and Indigenous issues in national data collections; and reporting and recognition of Indigenous health issues in the development of national data standards that underpin administrative reporting and research in the health sector. 
  • Refer strategic issues and issues for resolution arising from NHDISC activities to the Institute’s Strategic Committee for National Health Information (SCNHI).
  • Consult with other AHMAC Principal Committees or Standing Committees and reporting as required to the HSPC.
  • Liaise with other Institute advisory committees on items of relevance.
  1. unanimous agreement is required for NMDSs. For NBEDSs and NBPDSs there must be unanimous agreement that technical standards are met, although not every jurisdiction may be able to report against the specifications/standards for the starting year(s).


Membership of the NHDISC comprises of:

  1. All signatories to the National Health Information Agreement, currently being:
    • All jurisdictions
    • Other entities:
      • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
      • Australian Bureau of Statistics
      • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
      • Department of Human Services
      • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
      • Independent Hospital Pricing Authority
      • National Health Funding Body
  2. Representatives from other organisations/sectors:
    • Australian Digital Health Agency
    • Private hospitals sector
    • Productivity Commission
    • National Health and Medical Research Council
    • Private health insurance sector (Observer)
  3. Any other members as determined necessary by the Institute.

At the discretion of the Chair, Observers may be invited to attend meetings. They can contribute at meetings, by contributing to discussions, by making oral presentations, by distributing documents at meetings through the Chair, or by engaging in other activities as appropriate and as approved by the Chair.


Secretariat support is provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Metadata and METEOR Unit, Canberra.

Contact details for the Secretariat
Postal address

NHDISC Secretariat
PO Box 570
ACT, 2601

Email address

[email protected]

Related documents

Guidelines for the Disclosure of Secondary Use Health Information for Statistical Reporting, Research and Analysis [PDF 260kB]s


The Guidelines are a former National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee (NHISSC) product, endorsed by AHMAC in 2017, and are being made publically available on the AIHW website.

These Guidelines differ from the AIHW Confidentiality Policy and were developed for a different purpose. Where required by the jurisdictions, the AIHW applies these Guidelines in addition to its own Confidentiality Policy before making health data available.