nKPI – introduction

The national Key Performance Indicator (nKPI) collection is a set of process-of-care and health-status indicators provided by organisations funded under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP).

These indicators are organised under 3 domains—maternal and child health; preventative health; and chronic disease management (see also Table 1 in Interpreting nKPI data for a list of indicators by domain and type). Some indicators consist of more than one measure (for example, an indicator might be collected by different types of chronic disease).

Data are collected twice a year, with census dates at 30 June and 31 December. The period of data covered varies by indicator. For example, for the 30 June 2022 census date, the data covers, depending on the indicator:

  • 6 months up to the census date, that is, from, 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022, or
  • 12 months up to the census date, that is, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, or
  • 24 months up to the census date, that is, from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2022, or
  • 5 years up to the census date, that is, from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022 (for cervical screening only).

First Nations regular clients

Organisations reporting to the nKPI collection may see a mix of First Nations and non-Indigenous clients. Some of these are considered regular clients of the organisation. The nKPI indicators include only data for First Nations regular clients.

For the purposes of the nKPI collection, a First Nations regular client is defined as a First Nations person who has an active medical record – that is, who attended a particular primary health care organisation at least 3 times in the previous 2 years. This definition is consistent with the RAGCP definition of an active patient (RACGP 2020).

See Technical notes and Glossary for more information.

Process-of-care indicators are largely (but not completely) under the control of organisations and indicate good practice in primary health care. Health-status indicators, however, are influenced by a range of factors known as social determinants (such as education, employment, housing, access to resources, racism), some of which are beyond the immediate control of organisations. As such, the indicators need to be considered in context of the broader environment in which organisations operate and in which the data are collected. It is also important to acknowledge that the indicators capture only a subset of the important work that organisations do each day.


RACGP (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) (2020) Standards for general practices, 5th edition, RACGP, accessed 3 January 2023.