National Health Workforce Data Set: dental workforce 2011: National Health Workforce Data Set, 2011; Data Quality Statement
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Quality Statement|
|Registration status:||AIHW Data Quality Statements, Endorsed 24/01/2013|
|Quality statement summary:|
Summary of key issues
The National Health Workforce Data Set (NHWDS): dental practitioners 2011 contains information on the demographics, employment characteristics, primary work location and work activity of all dental practitioners in Australia who renewed their dental registration with the Dental Board of Australia via the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) introduced on 1 July 2010.
This is the first data published for dental practitioners from the new national registration scheme. The data set is comprised of registration (including demographic) information provided by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and workforce details obtained by the Dental Workforce Survey. The survey instrument varies significantly in some areas from previous years, however, is now nationally consistent.
This data quality statement should be read in conjunction with the detailed commentary on specific data issues in Appendix A.2 to A.5 of the Dental workforce 2011 publication and in footnotes and commentary accompanying tables throughout the publication.
The NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 is a combination of data collected through the dental practitioner registration renewal process. Dental practitioners are required to renew their registration with the Dental Board of Australia through the NRAS, either online via the AHPRA website or using a paper form provided by the AHPRA. For initial registration, dental practitioners must use a paper form and provide supplementary supporting documentation. This information is referred to as ‘registration data’. Data collected include demographic information such as age, sex, country of birth; and details of health qualification(s) and registration status (see http://www.dentalboard.gov.au/Registration/Types.aspx, select link to Registration type then Registration form).
When dental practitioners renew their registration online they are also asked to complete an online version of the Dental Workforce Survey questionnaire. The questionnaire collects information on the employment characteristics, work locations and work activity of dental practitioners (see http://www.aihw.gov.au/workforce-publications/, select link to Dental workforce 2011). The AHPRA stores both the online registration data and the survey information in separate databases. They then send these two data sets to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), where they are merged into a de-identified national data set.
When dental practitioners renew their registration on a paper form they are also asked to complete a paper version of the Dental Workforce Survey questionnaire. The paper registration and survey forms are sent back to the AHPRA, where the paper registration forms are scanned and merged with the data obtained from the online process. The AHPRA sends the paper survey forms to Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to be scanned into a data set. The HWA then sends this data set to the AIHW for merging with the online survey forms and registration data, cleansing and adjustment for non-response to form a nationally consistent data set. The final data set is then known as the National Health Workforce Data Set: dental practitioners, containing information sourced from registration data and workforce survey data.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare. It is an independent statutory authority established in 1987, governed by a management board, and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health and Ageing portfolio.
The AIHW aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians through better health and welfare information and statistics. It collects and reports information on a wide range of topics and issues, ranging from health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury, and mental health, to ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.
The Institute also plays a role in developing and maintaining national metadata standards. This work contributes to improving the quality and consistency of national health and welfare statistics. The Institute works closely with governments and non-government organisations to achieve greater adherence to these standards in administrative data collections to promote national consistency and comparability of data and reporting. One of the main functions of the AIHW is to work with the states and territories to improve the quality of administrative data and, where possible, to compile national data sets based on data from each jurisdiction, to analyse these data sets and disseminate information and statistics. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987, in conjunction with compliance to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth), ensures that the data collections managed by the AIHW are kept securely and under the strictest conditions with respect to privacy and confidentiality. For further information, see the AIHW website at http://www.aihw.gov.au.
The AIHW receives registration (including demographic) information on dental practitioners via the mandatory national registration process administered by the AHPRA and the voluntary Dental Workforce Survey data collected at the time of registration renewal. The registration and workforce survey data are combined, cleansed and adjusted for nonresponse to form a national data set known as NHWDS: dental practitioners. The AIHW is the data custodian of the NHWDS: dental practitioners.
The NHWDS: dental practitioners will be produced annually from the national registration renewal process, conducted between 1 October and 30 November (the renewal date) each year. While the reference time is notionally the renewal date, legislation allows for a 1-month period of grace. Thus, the official registration closure date is 1 month after the renewal date. The AHPRA allow a further 2 weeks to allow for mail and data entry delays before the registrations are considered expired. As a result, for maximum completeness, the extraction of data (the extraction date) is at a point in time a month and a half after the renewal date. Ages are calculated as at the official registration closure date.
The Dental Workforce Survey will also be collected between 1 October and 30 November, as it is administered as part of the registration renewal process. The exceptions to this timetable are in relation to limited and provisional registrations, where the registrant is renewed on the anniversary of their commencement. Limited and provisional registrations renewals are given paper forms only. These responses are included with the regular survey respondents.
Due to significant delays with release of data from the new national registration system, complete and final data were provided to the AIHW much later than originally scheduled. Initial data provided needed joint reviews by the AHPRA, AIHW and HWA to manage the range of considerations and data quality issues described in the Dental workforce 2011 publication. This review process improved data quality, data definitions, metadata and data cleansing. The process also led to improvements in AHPRA’s extracting scripts to provide consistency in data exchange specifications. This process delayed the supply of data but improved the overall quality. The AIHW expected to receive both the registration and workforce survey data simultaneously in February 2012. Due to the factors above, the AIHW received complete useable registration and workforce survey data from AHPRA in October 2012. AHPRA have indicated that future data provision is anticipated to be timely and provided six weeks from the close of registration on 30 November.
Results from the NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 are published in the Dental workforce 2011 report. The report, workforce survey questionnaire, user guide to the data set and additional detailed tables are available on the AIHW website at http://www.aihw.gov.au/workforce-publications/ (select link to Dental workforce 2011).
Users can request data not available online or in reports via the Communications, Media and Marketing Unit on (02) 6244 1032 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests that take longer than half an hour to compile are charged for on a cost-recovery basis. Access to the master unit record file may be requested through the AIHW Ethics Committee.
|Interpretability:||Information to aid in the interpretation of the NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 is in Appendix A of the Dental Workforce 2011 report. The report is based on this data set. See ‘Accessibility’ for details.|
Scope and coverage
The NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 contains registration details of all registered dental practitioners in Australia at the renewal date of 30 November 2011.
Response rates and mode
The NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 contains registration details of all registered dental practitioners in Australia at 30 November 2011.
Registration data from the NRAS
Some data items collected, up to and including 2009, as part of the previous AIHW Dental Labour Force Survey, such as date of birth, sex and specialty of practice, are now data items collected as part of the registration and renewal process. However, the data for some of these items is incomplete due to the quality of the data migrated from previous jurisdictional registration systems.
Workforce Survey 2011 sample
All registered dental practitioners are provided a form upon renewal of their registration each year. Some initial registrants may not receive a survey if they are not required to renew within the target period.
Workforce Survey 2011 design
In 2011, the online survey questionnaire did not include electronic sequencing of questions to automatically guide the respondent to the next appropriate question based on previous responses. This resulted in a number of inconsistent responses. For instance, respondents not correctly following the sequencing instructions for the employment questions may be assigned to an incorrect labour force status or not assigned a status due to incomplete data.
Inconsistencies between workforce survey and registration data
There were a number of inconsistencies between the data sourced from the NRAS and the workforce survey data.
Structure and format of data items
Due to unstructured data entry formats, a number of items in the NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 that required a numeric value contained text string responses. Where possible, these were recoded to the appropriate numeric value, but this was not possible in all instances. For example, for a number of records, ‘Postcode of principal practice’ contained values other than valid post codes, including text strings, overseas postal identifiers, etc. Conversely, ‘Suburb of main job’ contained invalid suburb names and 4-digit codes resembling postcodes.
Workforce Survey 2011
Dental labour force data for 2009 and earlier years published by the AIHW was the result of collated jurisdiction–level occupation–specific surveys. The current survey, Dental Workforce Survey 2011, collects similar data items; however, the survey methodology has changed, as has the method of obtaining benchmark data on which the numbers of total registrations are based. With the establishment of AHPRA, there is one source of benchmark data instead of eight and there is less chance of inconsistency between jurisdictions and years in the scope of benchmark data.
Source and reference attributes
|Submitting organisation:||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|