Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


The collection

Data items

Service types



What is the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS)?
Previously known as the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) National Minimum Data Set (NMDS), the DS NMDS is a set of nationally significant data items that is captured by all jurisdictions as part of the National Disability Agreement (NDA).

Why do I need to report?
The data collected under the DS NMDS is used to feed back information to the Australian Government about services provided and how Australian government funds have been used in each state. This reporting ensures Queensland can continue to source national funding. DS NMDS data is a key source of data collected in Queensland on persons with disabilities.
In the past, this data has been used for a wide range of purposes, such as for planning, program evaluation and to monitor achievement of program objectives and agreed priorities.
DS NMDS reporting is a mandatory requirement outlined in the schedules of Funding Agreements between the Queensland Government (coordinated by Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors) and all Funded Non-government Service Providers.

What funding is reportable?
Specialist disability services delivered with recurrent or one-off funding within your Service Agreement are to be reported under the DS NMDS. Services funded by Fee for Service (i.e. an invoice arrangement) are not reported under the DS NMDS.

What happens if I don't report?
DS NMDS reporting is a mandated requirement in your Service Agreement. If you do not report, you will be in breach of your agreement. Future payments under your Agreement are dependent upon receipt of both your financial and non-financial reporting for the previous quarter.

When is my data due? 
Your Service Agreement stipulates that data is submitted to the department 28 days after the end of each quarter. Data can be submitted via the Online Data Collection (ODC) system, own system reporting or hard copy form (see Reporting).
The requested dates are:
Quarter 1: 28th October
Quarter 2: 28th January
Quarter 3: 28th April
Quarter 4: 28th July

Who do I contact for assistance? 
Regional Data Support Officers (RDSO) are available to provide training, support and assistance to all funded service providers. Details can be found on ODC.

What if a client has transitioned to the NDIA?

For service users who have had an NDIA plan approved during a reporting quarter, funded services delivered anytime during the quarter must still be reported up to the day before their date of transition. Please check your Current Service User List report for latest plan dates. When reporting, please use the date of approved plan or last date of service delivery under the department’s Service Agreement as the cessation date, and use reason 10 “Other” as the main reason for cessation.

My outlet is closed during reference week. Can we choose another week?
No. Please enter zero into the 'Staff hours - reference week' fields if your service did not operate during the reference week.

Is travel time included in service hours?
Travel time to and from appointments with service users should be included in staff hours, but not included in the hours of service received by the service user, unless the travel time is part of the service. For example, if taking a client to a doctor's appointment, this time is reportable against the service user.

What do I report if a service type outlet was not operational for a particular quarter?
There is an option for a service type outlet to record zero (0) service users for a particular quarter. This should only be used for a service that is sporadic, such as Emergency and Crisis.

What if we are still setting up a service and don't have any clients for a particular quarter?
You should report that the service is operating. Record staff hours that have been accumulated due to the process of setting up the service (if using contractors, estimate these staff hours) and record service users as zero.

If a staff member is on call - are these hours of service?
Only the hours where a staff member is answering or responding to a call should be captured.

How do I calculate hours of service for a sleepover?
Irrespective of pay schemes, if a staff member is on sleepover for 8 hours, this should be captured as 8 staff hours and 8 hours of service to each service user.

How do I answer the questions on unpaid staff hours?
If staff are working unpaid overtime this should be recorded in unpaid staff hours. The DS NMDS aims to capture the entire cost to a funded service provider in terms of what is required to provide a service - it is important that ALL staff hours are captured.

How does my Organisation know what service types it provides?
There are several sources where you can access this information. Service types are listed in Service Agreements Schedules and in ODC. Community Services Officers (CSOs) and Regional Data Support Officers (RDSO) are also able to provide this information. 

Do I need to report emergency or crisis services?
Yes. Specific codes have been developed to capture emergency and crisis (E&C).
1.082 = E&C Accommodation/ Accommodation Support
4.051 = E&C Respite
As E&C are one-off instances, these service types do not require approval. Once an outlet is set up it can be entered with zero (0) service users for quarters where no E&C services were provided. (See FAQ re: What do I report if a service type was not operational for a particular quarter?)

Where can I get copies of paper forms?
They are available online on the Resources page on ODC.

Is it better to report electronically?
The Online Data Collection (ODC) is the preferred method of collection.

Advantages of ODC :

  1. saves time due to the service user information being maintained and rolled over each quarter for the next report submission;
  2. retains the history of reporting;
  3. has built-in checklists to ensure correct data is reported; and
  4. allows Regional Data Support Officers (RDSO) to provide quicker support as they can assist end users online.

If we already use a database or client management system are we required to use ODC?
No. However, you are able to quickly upload data files to complete your reporting. There are technical specifications that must be met for data to be submitted by your system. The technical guidelines are available online on the Resources page on ODC. Note: The department does NOT provide technical support for commercial software or in-house systems.

How do I know that Disability Services has received my quarterly data return?
On ODC you can check that data is complete by viewing the quarterly reporting checklist. If this checklist says 'nothing more to do' your data is finalised and has been accepted.