An understanding of the NCIS coding schema is recommended for anyone involved in using NCIS data for research or reporting, or for anyone involved in coding data. More information is also available on explanatory notes.

NCIS Coding manual

The NCIS Coding manual is a reference for those entering data into the NCIS. The manual provides guidance and advice on data fields and common coding scenarios. It contains tailored advice on common external-cause scenarios as well as tips on how to consistently code common scenarios.


NCIS Data dictionary

The NCIS Data dictionary is a reference manual for persons involved in entering, interpreting or analysing information in the NCIS. It includes a comprehensive list of all data fields available in the NCIS with definitions and applications.


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.


The PSHU list including metabolities lists all drugs included in the PSHU codeset, grouped by drug class, category and parent drug. It also includes information about associated metabolites.


The PSHU full codeset is an excel spreadsheet which provides different views of the PSHU codeset. These views include the codeset ordered by class, category, parent drug, a comparison of the 2014 and 2018 versions and explanatory notes.


System updates

The NCIS web interface is periodically upgraded to enhance system functionality and user experience.

This upgrade involved enhancing the functions for finding the most applicable codes, updating the codeset and linking cases.

New functionality includes:

  • Update of the NCIS codeset
  • Expanded codeset searching options
  • New validation rules
  • Linking multiple case records for the same deceased

Codeset upgrade details – February 2020

NCIS System Upgrade – February 2020

This upgrade involved enhancing the presentation of geocoded and drug data.

New functionality allows users to:

  • identify if the geocoding process has been unsuccessful for a particular address
  • return Drug class and Drug category fields from a query design search
  • search the free text field Other pharmaceutical substances for human use

System upgrade – 15 October 2019

This upgrade involves improving data about the indigenous identification and birthplace of the deceased.

Data sourced from the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) registries around Australia has been integrated into the NCIS to supplement the coronial information about indigenous origin and country of birth.

System upgrade – 6 November 2019