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Standards and Classifications

Standards and Classifications

Aim of this topic

The aim of this topic is to:

  • Provide information on standards and classifications.
  • Present standards and classifications for particular areas of interest.
  • Provide advice on commonly used standards and classifications, including those used by the Tasmanian Government.

What are standards and classifications?

A statistical standard is a set of rules used to make consistent the way data are collected and statistics are produced. They provide information about data collected on a particular topic that assists in the understanding and interpretation of that data.

A Classification is a set of categories used to organise data. Classifications are an important part of any standard.

The following external links provide further information around what standards and classifications are:


Why use Standards and Classifications?

Standards and classifications are used to ensure that data about the same characteristic are collected and communicated in the same way every time. This enables data from different sources to be compared on a consistent basis and enables meaningful comparisons to be made over time.

There are four advantages to using approved statistical standards and classifications:

  1. Improved data quality;
  2. reduced costs;
  3. improved transparency; and
  4. consistent and meaningful statistical picture of society and economy.

The following resources provide further information around why to use standards and what the benefits are:


Commonly used Standards and classifications

There are many different standards and classifications used on an international, regional, national and state level.

Standards and Classifications used in ABS

The following resource provides information on the standards and classifications used by the ABS in the collection, processing and presentation of data.


Standards and classifications used in the Tasmanian Government

The following resources provide information about standards and guidelines which have been approved and are applied across the Tasmanian Government.


The Office of eGovernment also has an online service which allows access for Tasmanian Government employees to some commonly used standards from Standards Australia International. Standards within the subscription have been selected on the basis that they support progressing strategic issues in the use of Information Management and Communications.


Examples of standards and classification used in Tasmanian Government agencies

Interchange of client information

AS 4590-2006 - Interchange of client information

The Australian Standard AS4590-2006: Interchange of Client Information has been adopted as a standard exchange of client information across Tasmanian Government agencies. This standard sets out requirements for data elements for the interchange of client information. The data elements comprise party identification, person details, organisation details, addressing, and electronic contact details.

Further information on AS 4590-2006 can be found at Standards Australia website.

Address Standards

AS/NZS 4819:2011 – Rural and Urban Addressing

Provides requirements and guidance for assigning addresses, naming roads and localities, recording and mapping the related information, and related signage.

Further information on AS/NZS 4819:2011 can be found at the Standards Australia website.

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS )

The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography which enables the production of statistics that are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

Further information on the ASGS can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure provides a geographical standard for the publication of statistics by relative remoteness.

Further information on the ASGS Remoteness Structure can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Industry classifications – The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)

The ANZSIC provides foundation for the standardised gathering, examination and dissemination of economic data on an industry basis across Australia and New Zealand.

Further information on the ANZSIC can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Occupation Classifications - The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

The ANZSCO provides a basis for standardised collection, analysis and dissemination of occupation data for Australia and New Zealand. ANZSCO is intended to provide an integrated framework for storing, organising and reporting occupation-related information in both statistical and client-oriented applications, such as matching job seekers to job vacancies and providing career information.

Further information on the ANZSCO can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Education Classifications – The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

The ASCED provides a framework for statistical and administrative data on educational activity and attainment in Australia. It has been designed to classify education according to the two main aspects which are of primary interest to users of statistics on educational provision and attainment.

Further information on the ASCED can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Offence Classifications – The Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC)

The ANZSOC provides for a uniform national statistical framework for classifying criminal behaviour in the production and analysis of crime and justice statistics. There are two main purposes of the Classification:

  • two provide a standardised statistical framework for organising key behavioural characteristics of criminal offences; and
  • to overcome differences in legal offence definitions across state and territories.

Further information on the ANZSOC can be found at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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