Data Standards

The National Legal Assistance Data Standards Manual is the primary document governing data collection across the legal assistance sector. The Attorney-General’s Department has released Version 3 of the Data Standards Manual. This comes into effect from 1 July 2021.

The table below summarises the changes. Please note:

  • Definitions of Family Violence Indicator, Court/Tribunal type, people residing in rural or remote areas, and people who are culturally and linguistically diverse can be found in the table below. 
  • The changes are mostly minor and provide clearer definitions for existing information.
  • One significant change is the splitting of Community Education into Community Education Resources and Community Education Activities, as shown below. We will be making changes in CLASS to accommodate this in the lead up to July 1. More information is available here.
  • Hearing Types are better defined, and some of the options have been changed.
  • New options for Court Based Conference, Plea of Guilty, Hearing/Trial and No Hearing/Not Applicable have been added to the Data Standards Manual. CLASS already includes much more specific options for hearing type than is required. Work on re-parenting the more specific options within CLASS will occur closer to the first round of reporting on this data.


Data standards Manual V3 – Key changes

Effective from 1 July 2021.




Table 10

Family violence

The following text has been added to the definition of family violence – Data recorded under this category includes all persons experiencing or at risk of violence, regardless of whether they are the applicant or respondent in a violence order proceeding (data is not intended to be limited to proceedings). It should not include data in relation to a perpetrator if that person is not experiencing or at risk of violence.

Table 10

Estimate of time spent

Estimate of time spent definitions have been removed from the DSM. Guidance on estimated time spent will be provided in a separate document.[1]

Table 18

Hearing type

Hearing types have been amended as follows

  1. Interim
  2. Court Based Conference
  3. Plea of Guilty
  4. Hearing/Trial
  5. Appeal
  6. Inquest
  7. Inquiry
  8. No Hearing/Not Applicable
  9. Other

Table 16

Hearing types

The following comment has been added to Hearing Type “Hearing Type” is not considered narrowly. This category is intended to record court events beyond a substantive hearing such as brief appearances, mentions and bail applications. Interim means a court event which involves a temporary or provisional arrangement.

Dispute resolution and Duty Lawyer are not Hearing Types for the purposes of the NLAP Schedule D Legal Assistance Service Data Hearing type data entry is mandated and so data entry for dispute resolution and duty lawyer services should be recorded as No Hearing/No applicable. NB The point at which the data is recorded will not necessarily reflect the final “Hearing Type’ or the number of hearings involved.

Table 16

Court/Tribunal type

The following comment has been added to Court/Tribunal type – Clients engaged in alternative dispute resolution that is finalised without recourse to a court will select ‘Óther’ for ‘Çourt/Tribunal Type’. Mental Health Court means a therapeutic justice court dealing with criminal law matters. Mental Health civil law matters would be recorded against Tribunal.

Table 20

CE resources and CE activities

CE resources and CE activities are listed separately. Changes are being made to CLASS to accommodate this. Check with your Program Manager about whether you need to report on this.

Table 21


Definitions have been added for People residing in rural or remote areas and People who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

Attachment A

NLAP Data Items table

A table of NLAP Data Items has been added, which is a summary of which data needs to be reported on under NLAP.


[1] Collection rules for estimated time spent have not been decided as of 27 May 2021