Estimated Time Spent for NLAP


Some Centres will be required to collect estimated time spent (ETS) data for 22-26 November 2021. This will affect up to five Centres in each jurisdiction.

Contact the Helpdesk if your Centre has been selected. We have some ways that might make it easier for you. We aim to link the affected Centres with each other to enable sharing of challenges and approaches.


Estimated time spent (ETS) on a service is data required to meet important payment conditions of the National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP). Two different parts of NLAP require the collection of estimated time spent data:

  • Jurisdictional Performance Reports (clause 44(h)) – data provided by the States and Territories to the Commonwealth
  • Legal Assistance Service Data (Schedule D) – unit level data provided directly to the Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Jurisdictional Performance Reports will commence as required in NLAP currently.

As a result, Centres will need to collect Estimated Time Spent data for 22-26 November 2021 as a representative sample period. A maximum of five centres (three from smaller states) will be required to collect this data.

Data collection will only apply to the Legal Advice and Legal task Service types in the first year with additional service types being added over the life of NLAP. 

Collection of estimated time spent data for Ongoing Services will not be required during the life of NLAP.

What is required by Centres?


Centres are required to capture ETS data in two components for each Legal Advice or Legal Task done from 22 to 26 November.

The ETS data components are:

  1. Client: this includes all time spent communicating with or in the presence of the client by any staff.
  2. Travel: includes all time spent travelling from their normal place of work to the place of service delivery1

Time is to be recorded in hours and minutes per client. This means if a client receives multiple prescribed services in the period the time will need to be added together.

Centres will be likely be provided with a spreadsheet template to collect the data. The template will automatically calculate the information needed for the Jurisdictional Performance Report, being the mean, median, mode, minimum, and maximum time spent from what you enter.

Overhead (time spent on administrative work to support service delivery) is an additional part of ETS. Centres are asked to estimate a total for all prescribed services delivered during the period. This will include entering service details, conducting conflict checks, legal research, and reviewing paperwork.

Additional demographic data

Although not required, Centres are encouraged to provide an aggregate report regarding the demographic detail prescribed services delivered during the capture period. They are asking for:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Main language spoken at home
  • Location of service user
  • Family violence indicator
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status
  • Disability Status
  • Interpreter required
  • Primary Law Type
  • Law Type
  • Problem type 

The N05 report in CLASS can provide the necessary information. If you decide to provide this additional information, you will need to run the report once for each demographic.

How will this work with CLASS?

We are able provide to new custom fields in CLASS so that Centres only have to use one system:

  1. Estimated Time Spent: – Client; and
  2. Estimated Time Spent – Travel

Please contact the Helpdesk ASAP if your centre has been chosen to record Estimated Time Spent.

The N05 report will give you the demographic data requested.

What does NLAP require?

This table outlines the Estimated Time Spent requirements for the Jurisdictional Performance Report (Clause 44(h)) and Legal Assistance Service Data (Schedule D):

Scaling up

This table shows how over the next four years the services included in the Legal Assistance Service Data (Schedule D) data collection will develop. This does not apply to the Jurisdictional Performance Report (Clause 44(h)).


1 Travel time should be the time a staff member spent travelling from their normal place of work to the place of prescribed service delivery, such as a court, regional office or outreach location, and includes overnight stays (where systems are capable).

Where both prescribed services and other service types are delivered, travel time should be apportioned equally across all services delivered, whether prescribed or not, and only the portion relating to the prescribed service should be reported.

For example:
4 hours travelled to deliver 2 services (1 prescribed, 1 not) = 4 hours/2 tasks = 2 hour per task = 2 hours recorded for the prescribed service.

Where more than one client is serviced by the staff member at this location, time should be equally apportioned between all clients for which the staff member provided a prescribed service.

For example:
2 hours travelled to provide services to 4 clients = 2 hours/4 clients = 30 minutes per client = 30 minutes recorded for each client.