FAQ

 

Am I eligible for direct access to the database?

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To be able eligible to obtain direct system access, applicants must be either a death investigator assisting the coroner (forensic scientist, pathologist, police assisting) or fall within the definition of a third party user. Direct access is not available to media or private organisations, however de-identified summary data can be produced for these agencies for an applicable fee.

How do I apply for direct access?

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If you are a third party you will need to submit an application form to the NCIS. All third party applications will then be referred to the Victorian Department of Justice Research Ethics Committee for consideration. See our information sheet for more details. If your application seeks to access identifying information from Western Australia or Victoria, you will also be required to submit an application to an additional review committee for each jurisdiction. The NCIS Access Liaison Officer will assist with this process.

Death investigation users should contact the NCIS to arrange for the appropriate authorisation to be provided from the State or Chief Coroner in your jurisdiction.

What if I just need some statistical information?

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If you only need de-identified statistics for a one-off occasion, it may be more timely and cost effective to request some data be extracted from the system. An hourly fee is applicable, with a quote provided to applicants before any work is undertaken. The data request form is available here.

Note: Coronial approval for the provision of data may be required in some circumstances.

Will I have to pay?

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While there is no charge for NCIS access to individuals who are assisting the coroner, third party users do have to pay a fee to access the NCIS. For further information on the pricing schedule, please contact us.  There is also a fee applicable for parties requesting a statistical data report.

What is a Third Party User?

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A Third Party is an individual or organisation with a role or interest in public health and safety or with a statutorily mandated statistical role. This includes Commonwealth, State and Territory government departments and agencies, University research centres, and other research organisations/agencies with a role or interest in public health and safety or death and injury surveillance. Commercial and media organisations are not eligible for third party access to the NCIS.

What is Level 1 access?

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Level 1 access allows users to access identifying information about coronial cases (name, residential address, DOB, full text documents) once the case has been finalised by the coroner, and closed on the NCIS. Level 1 access will therefore be required should users wish to view coronial findings, autopsy reports or any other full text documents on the system.

How can I get access to coronial data not on the system?

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As the NCIS does not contain all information from a coronial file (such as witness statements, photos, expert reports) there may be some occasions when the information required is not accessible via the system. Deaths reported prior to July 2000 are also not accessible on the NCIS.  In these cases, the relevant coronial jurisdictions should be contacted.

Why aren't some documents available?

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There are two reasons a document may not be attached to a case – the procedure associated with that document may not have been performed (i.e no toxicology screen done) or the NCIS unit may not have been able to obtain an electronic copy of the document.

The NCIS unit is continually working to obtain as many documents in electronic form as possible, however sometimes regional reports may only be available in a paper form, or laboratory systems may not yet be able to transfer their reports electronically. For an update on the documents we do routinely obtain from the various states and territories, click here.

I’ve been approved for identifying access, why can’t I see identifying information?

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Third Party users with Level 1 access are only able to view identifying information once cases are finalised by the coroner, and closed on the NCIS. Therefore if a case status is still open, you will be unable to view any full text documents, or other identifying fields.