Data source

Access to Allied Psychological Services Minimum Dataset

Data have been sourced from the ATAPS Minimum Dataset, as provided by the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, which is contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health to manage and report on the ATAPS dataset. In 2013, the then Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing agreed to provide AIHW with access to the ATAPS data for inclusion in Mental Health Services in Australia, commencing with 2011–12 ATAPS data. The 2011–12 and 2012–13 data were extracted on 12 May 2014. The 2013–14 data onwards were extracted on 30 June of each subsequent year (e.g. for 2015–16 data on 30 June 2017). Data published here may differ from ATAPS data published in other sources due to differing extraction dates. The data in this report exclude unattended sessions unless otherwise stated.

The ATAPS Minimum Dataset was developed to gather information from former Medicare Locals which previously implemented ATAPS. Socio–demographic and clinical information are collected by the GP (or other referrer) and treatment information is collected by the health professional at each session. Consumer level outcomes data are collected by the GP or mental health professional. Since 1 July 2015, Primary Health Networks (formerly Medicare Locals) are required to collect and enter the Minimum Dataset items as part of their ATAPS contracts with the Department of Health (Department of Health 2015).

If more than one referral is issued to a patient in a financial year, this will appear as a new referral entry in the Minimum Dataset, linked by a patient ID number.

Note: From 2016–17, PHNs will play a key role in the reform process particularly through the planning and commissioning of primary mental health services at a regional level, supported by a flexible funding pool for mental health and suicide prevention services. ATAPS funding will form part of the flexible funding pool and as a result, PHNs and mental health commissioned service providers will enter the Minimum Dataset items as part of their contract.


Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)  2012. Operational Guidelines for the Access to Allied Psychological Services Initiative. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing.

Department of Health (DOH) 2015. Primary Mental Health Care Services Activities Grant Programme Guidelines. Canberra: Department of Health.

DOH 2016. Mental Health PHN Circular 1/2016. Canberra: Department of Health. Viewed 7 September 2017,