To support the use of this publication, the NHDD version 16.1 has been divided into 4 chapters:

  • Chapter 1—a brief description of the NHDD, including how metadata are approved as national data standards and the future of the NHDD.
  • Chapter 2—a summary of the changes to the national data standards since the previous version of the NHDD.
  • Chapter 3—all new and revised national data standards. Data elements are alphabetised by their short names.
  • Chapter 4—a list of all new and revised data elements within this publication, alphabetised by their technical names.

Data elements are assigned both a short name and a technical name. Both the short name and the technical name will be unique to the data element. The short name is the designation by which the data element is commonly known. The technical name reflects the metadata that combine to form the data element, and is based on the second edition of the international standard International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission 11179 Metadata Registries (ISO/IEC 11179). For example, the data element technically named ‘Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYY’ is commonly referred to as ‘Date of birth’. The data elements section of Chapter 3 is organised by short name, with Chapter 4 providing an alternative listing (with corresponding page numbers) by technical name.