Data collection

Data collection, and the sharing of data to the Asset will occur at different timeframes depending on the maturity of the data collection. Data is already collected in national collections such as the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) and the National Coronial Information System (NCIS), but they represent a small fraction of all sports injuries.

There will be annual publication of sports injury hospitalisation data by sport, injury type, cause, sex, age and other demographic information. State-based or new data collections will be added to the Asset over time. The AIHW will provide guidance to data collectors to assist with standardisation and governance of their data collections. Further materials, in addition to the framework and data dictionary to assist data collectors with collection and sharing of data to the Asset, will be developed as required to support data collectors.

Asset data governance

Data governance describes the source of authority for making decisions about data and the basis upon which those decisions are made (AIHW 2021). Strong data governance is key in ensuring compliance with legal, privacy and ethical obligations, in ensuring accountability, and obtaining the trust of stakeholders.

Table 2: Asset governance and advisory structures

High level oversight of legislative requirements

AIHW Board

AIHW Ethics Committee

AIHW Risk, Audit and Finance Committee

Executive oversight of work program and operations

AIHW Data Governance Committee

AIHW Security Committee

AIHW ICT Strategy Committee

Asset specific

Steering Committee

Data Subcommittee


Steering Committee

The National Sports Injury Data Asset Steering Committee, convened by the AIHW since February 2020, includes researchers and key stakeholder group representatives. The committee will advise on the long-term work plan for the project and the implementation of the Asset.

Data Subcommittee

A data subcommittee will be established to assist with the functions of data management and provision, data specifications and compilation into a data dictionary, standards and cyclical data improvements, and best methods for sharing electronic data. The data subcommittee will have specialist knowledge of health information systems, clinical coding, data development, sport injury data, data governance and data collection management, or be data providers or representatives from different government or sporting organisations. This group will also identify and prioritise outstanding data gaps that need further development. Specific topic experts or policy areas will be consulted to advise on best practices to collect and share data. Technical advice will be sought external to the committee as required.


The AIHW will publish metadata on the datasets contributing to the Asset to provide an accurate description of data. This will assist potential collectors and contributors to align their collections appropriately.

Figure 2: Existing and proposed sources of data for the Asset

Existing data sources which could contribute to the National Sports Injury Data Strategy include data on hospitalisations and emergency department presentations, published research data on deaths and point-in-time survey data such as those from AusPlay. Potential new data sources may be from community sport injury and incident reports, sport insurance data, additional survey data, school sport injury data, General Practitioner and Allied Health data.

Reviewing the Asset

New and existing sources will be considered consistent with the principles of good data development and the measures identified in the AIHW’s Data governance framework 2021 (AIHW 2021). Data shared for inclusion in the Asset will be assessed for:

  • use of suitable data standards and metadata
  • compliance with data standards such as the data dictionary
  • persistent data gaps
  • other limitations of the data or data collection process.

Where data limitations exist, the AIHW will work with the data providers to improve the data collection processes and publish the caveats about the use of some of the data sources. Where the data source does not use standard data elements, the data subcommittee may determine the data do not contribute to the Asset.

The Asset will be subject to periodic review.

Data collection by external stakeholders and other government bodies will be dependent on best practice advice which may evolve over time and be aligned with relevant legislation (The Privacy Act 1988, AIHW Act 1987). There are multiple bodies providing regulations and advice in the data collection space. The AIHW will monitor any developments on National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ethics processes; Electronic Medical Records, injury registries, the Australian Digital Health Agency, National Health Interoperability Principles, Office of the National Data Commissioner’s Data Sharing Framework for Public Sector Data, and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA).