The data contained in the NCIS are primarily sourced from the coronial file created as part of the investigation into the death of an individual. The purpose of a coronial investigation is to determine the identity of the deceased, the cause of death and, where appropriate, to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths from occurring. The NCIS contains coded and non-coded data. It includes demographic information about the deceased, contextual information about the nature of the fatality, and full text copies of coronial findings, autopsy and toxicology reports, and police notification of death reports. A case record on the NCIS is not intended to be a full replica of the coronial file. It does not contain photographs, expert or witness statements.
Case data are coded by court staff in each jurisdiction based on the coronial file.
Institutional practices and legislative differences can result in differences in the qualitative and quantitative nature of the data. While these differences can have an impact on the information available in the NCIS, as far as possible the dataset is standardised, with mandatory data fields required to be completed for all cases, and the same coding classifications applied across the entire collection.
For more information on NCIS data, see explanatory notes.
Supplementary data drawn from data custodians outside the coronial system has proven useful to enhance coronial information in the NCIS.
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – Tenth revision (ICD-10) codes
The ICD-10 is an international classification system produced by the World Health Organisation that uses unique alphanumeric codes to classify disease, conditions leading to disease or injury.
ICD-10 codes are provided for Australian case records on the NCIS by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and ICD-10AM codes are provided for New Zealand case records by the New Zealand Ministry of Health .
ICD-10 codes are provided to the NCIS annually for integration into the database.
Type of Occurrence Classification System (TOOCS) and Occupation and Injury codes for work-related deaths
For fatalities that Safe Work Australia considers to be work-related, Safe Work Australia provides the NCIS with additional work-related codes:
- Mechanism of incident (TOOCS code)
- Agency of injury (TOOCS code)
- Breakdown agency (TOOCS code)
- Occupation (ANZSCO code)
- Industry of employer (ANZSIC code).
The Type of Occurrence Classification System (TOOCS) is a classification system produced by Safe Work Australia for coding details of workers’ compensation cases reported to workers’ compensation agencies.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) are classifications produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Equivalent additional work-related codes are not available in the NCIS for New Zealand cases.
Indigenous status and birthplace data from the death registration process
Supplementary data about the Indigenous status and birthplace of individuals for Australian cases in the NCIS is provided by the Australian Coordinating Registry (ACR) through the Cause of Death Unit Record File (CODURF).
Indigenous status and birthplace data in the CODURF originate from the documentation provided to birth, death and marriage registries to enable a death to be registered. This can include the death registration form and/or medical certificate cause of death.
Data provided by the ACR supplements coronial data for these variables which is not always consistently collected.
Equivalent registry data for these variables are not available in the NCIS for New Zealand cases.
For further information about coronial and CODURF data in relation to Indigenous identification and birthplace, see explanatory notes.
Geocoding is the process of converting a street address to latitude and longitude coordinates. It also refers to the process of assigning geographic boundaries such as Local Government Areas (LGA).
The residential, incident and death addresses for most Australian cases in the NCIS have been geocoded. See explanatory notes for more information.
The NCIS uses standardised coding schema to ensure data is comparable across Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions and with other data collections. Data comparability increases the value of the NCIS as a tool for research and analysis.
The NCIS uses several coding schema within its core, supplementary and speciality data fields.
The coding schema used by the NCIS comes from three sources: the Australian National Health Data Dictionary (NHDD), the International Classification of External Causes of Injury (ICECI) and internally developed codes tailored for the Australian and New Zealand context and coronial investigation processes.
The majority of data items are based on the definitions outlined in the NHDD. This ensures that data fields such as Date of Birth, Sex, Indigenous Origin and Marital Status are consistent with other data collections.
A coding schema based on the ICECI is used for the coding of data fields specific to injury and death. These include:
- incident activity
- location of event
- mechanism of injury
- object or substance producing injury.
Sometimes it is necessary to modify or enhance the ICECI to ensure the classification system is tailored to an Australian and New Zealand context and terminology. For example, the location code Sidewalk is changed to Footpath; or the inclusion of mechanism of injury code, Bullying.
In November 2007, the NCIS codeset was updated to ICECI Version 1.2. All existing data was mapped to ensure compliance with the new version.
Upgrades to the codeset are implemented as part of routine maintenance of the NCIS.
Pharmaceutical substance for human use codeset
The Pharmaceutical substance for human use (PSHU) codeset contains all drugs that can be coded in the NCIS. To allow for easier maintenance and revision this codeset is stored separately to the NCIS Data dictionary.
The PSHU List alphabetically lists all drugs in the PSHU codeset.
Occupation and industry codeset
The NCIS occupation codeset uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), both of which are produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics .