Programme Reporting


23 September 2015

The DSS Data Exchange Standard Report now available

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is pleased to announce the launch of the first DSS Data Exchange self-service report, the Organisation Summary Report. This Standard Report is now available on the homepage of the web-based portal for all service providers using the DSS Data Exchange.

Translation matrix and further guidance on measuring outcomes through SCORE

A translation matrix has been developed to assist service providers in converting results from commonly used outcomes measurement tools into SCORE (Standard Client Outcomes Reporting). The translation matrix was developed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and includes nine tools commonly used in the Families and Children programme activity.

The Department has also released additional guidance on the use of SCORE that explains the domains and Likert scales from a client’s perspective. This extra resource has been made available to assist service providers in understanding the intent of this outcomes measurement framework and applying it as part of their everyday business practices.

DSS Data Exchange - A New Approach to Programme Reporting

As part of a new way of working, the Department has implemented improved programme performance reporting processes in new grant agreements. The DSS Data Exchange has introduced standardised, prioritised, and collaborative reporting processes for new in-scope grant agreements from 1 July 2015.

The DSS Data Exchange applies to most client-based programmes in DSS, however there are some activities where it is not appropriate to collect client level data (for example funding for specialist research projects or for peak bodies). The nature of the reporting requirements for these other activities is specified in these grant agreements.

What does this mean for Service Providers?

Service Providers will be able to focus on front line service delivery to achieve better outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Reporting requirements have been simplified and we will work together to shift the focus of performance measurement from outputs to more meaningful information about service delivery outcomes. The implementation of the DSS Data Exchange means there is now:

  • Fewer, more targeted data items reported;
  • Streamlined reporting arrangements;

Data requirements are divided into two parts: a small set of priority requirements that all service providers must report, and a voluntary extended data set that providers can choose to share with the Department in return for relevant and meaningful reports, known as the partnership approach. This will help build the evidence base regarding the effectiveness of DSS programmes and service delivery approaches. Participation in the partnership approach is entirely voluntary and there will be no negative consequences if a service provider chooses not to provide this extended data set.

Where can I get more information?

  • A summary brochure - outlining the key aspects of the DSS Data Exchange, as part of the new way of working for grants.
  • The DSS Data Exchange Framework – a policy document that provides an overview of the approach underpinning this new way of programme reporting.
  • The DSS Data Exchange Protocols – a practical support manual to help users consistently apply the new Framework.
  • DSS Data Exchange web based portal – a webpage that explains the DSS Data Exchange IT system and how to access the web-based portal.
  • Support to use the DSS Data Exchange – a webpage that includes training and user support material such as task cards, forms and helpdesk support.
  • The DSS Data Exchange Web Services Technical Specifications - a document relevant for service providers who want to submit their data using system to system transfers. It details the specifications for software developers to develop this web services capability. Note this document has now been updated for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
  • The DSS Data Exchange Bulk Upload Technical Specifications - a document relevant to service providers who want to submit their data using bulk uploads. It details the specifications for software developers to develop this bulk file upload capability. Note this document has now been updated for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

A number of fact sheets have been developed to provide more information about key aspects of the DSS Data Exchange including:

Please direct any further enquiries to or phone 1800 020 283.

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