nKPI - introduction

The national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) collection is a set of indicators provided by organisations receiving funding under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) to deliver comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care services to Indigenous Australians. Some indicators have more than one part (for example, an indicator might be collected by different types of chronic diseases).

Data are supplied on the Indigenous regular clients of each organisation twice a year, with census dates in June and December. The period of data covered varies by indicator. For example, for the June 2021 census date, data provided covers, depending on the indicator:

  • 6 months up to the census date, that is, from, 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, or
  • 12 months up to the census date, that is, from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, or
  • 24 months up to the census date, that is, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021, or
  • 5 years up to the census date (for cervical screening only).

Indigenous regular clients

Organisations reporting to the nKPI collection may see a mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients. Some of these are considered regular clients of the organisation. Only data for Indigenous regular clients are included in the nKPI collection.

For the purposes of the nKPI collection, an Indigenous regular client is defined as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has an active medical record—that is, who attended a particular primary health care organisation at least 3 times in the previous 2 years. This definition is consistent with the RAGCP definition of an active patient (RACGP 2020). See Technical notes and Glossary for more information.

The nKPI collection consists of a set of process-of-care and health-status indicators organised under 3 domains—maternal and child health; preventative health; and chronic disease management (see also Table 1 in Interpreting nKPI data for a list of indicators by domain and type). While the process-of-care indicators are largely (but not completely) under the control of organisations and indicate good practice in primary health care, broader health status and outcomes are influenced by a range of factors known as social determinants (such as education, employment, housing, access to resources, racism) some of which are beyond the immediate control of organisations.

As such, the indicators need to be viewed in context of the broader environment in which organisations operate and in which the data are collected. In particular, it is important to acknowledge that the indicators capture only a subset of the important work that organisations do each day. Data from this collection, however, can make an important contribution when used by health service providers at the local level to identify opportunities and to measure progress towards achieving change, or when used by policy makers to inform policy decisions.


RACGP (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) (2020) Standards for general practices. 5th edition,East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP.