The primary objective of this publication is to provide a basis for consistent classification, across a diverse range of service types, of the delivery of community services in terms of the activities provided to clients, and the setting in which such services are delivered. The classifications have been designed to provide a stable national framework that is consistent with the reporting needs of service providers, jurisdictions and national program managers. Hence they can be used to meet information needs at different levels, as they can be used by an individual service provider as part of their own service/client record-keeping systems, through to meeting requirements for national data collection, analysis and reporting.

The document has been structured to provide clear guidelines for the use of the classifications. It is an improvement on the previous version as it provides more comprehensive coverage of community services activities, and service delivery settings information.
The classifications can be used to describe organisations or specific service delivery events. Furthermore, they can be used to describe the primary activity of an organisation or a service delivery event, or all service activities undertaken by an organisation or during a service delivery event. The way the classifications are applied and the level of detail depend on the data requirements from within and
external to community services organisations.

Version 2 of the National Classifications of Community Services aims to minimise the amount of data collection required and is constructed so that the finer levels of subdivision of data used administratively can be mapped to the national standard classifications. This is intended to achieve consistency, comparability and economy of effort in developing quality information. Conversely, where classification detail is derived from other national standard classifications it is mappable back to the original.

The classifications can be used in many different ways in community services data collections. For example, they can be used as a basis for collection of data about the numbers of clients receiving particular types of assistance, and how much of this was provided in a residential or community setting. This information can assist in addressing issues such as responsiveness to consumer needs, rationalisation and integration of service delivery mechanisms. The service activity and service delivery setting classifications describe the ’what’ and ‘where’ of community services delivery.