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Public Health Act application and SSB

An application for data release under the Public Health Act 2005 (PHA) must be approved by each data custodian relevant to your project and the Director General (or Delegate) of Queensland Health.  The Statistical Services Branch is one of many Data Custodians in Queensland Health and your application may need to be signed by more than one Data Custodian to gain approval.

The PHA Application Form and a list of data custodians are available from the Health Innovation, Investment and Research Office (HIIRO). If you have questions regarding ethics and/or research governance issues you should contact HIIRO directly for advice.

*** Note:  New PHA application proforma available from HIIRO. ***

What is the approval process (if requesting SSB data)?

  1. Email the draft PHA form in Word format to
  2. Staff in the Statistical Services Branch (SSB) will review your PHA and contact you if your PHA requires clarification.
  3. The PHA will be reviewed by the Data Custodian in SSB and comments from the custodian or requests for more information will be forwarded back to you.
  4. Once your PHA is signed by the SSB Data Custodian, a copy of the signed PHA will be emailed to you.
  5. If you require data from multiple data sets that have different Data Custodians, you will need to get the PHA signed by all the relevant Data Custodians.
  6. You will need to email a copy of the signed PHA (with all relevant data custodian signatures) and your current ethics approval (approval letter from HREC) to HIIRO at
  7. HIIRO will submit your application to the Director General/Delegate for approval and, if approved, organise a letter approving the release of data for your project.
  8. Email a copy of that letter and your ethics approval to  If you have not already done so, SSB will ask you to sign a Conditions of Disclosure form for each member of the research team.   SSB can then release the data to you. (Note: SSB can only provide or link data as it is described in the PHA. Once the PHA is approved, if you require any changes to the data items or time frame you have requested, you need to submit an updated PHA/amendment and have the updated PHA approved.)

The video Applying for linked health data for research purposes from the Statistical Services Branch, Queensland Department of Health: A data custodian perspective or the related slides may provide further information about requesting data from SSB.

The following documents are required before data can be released from the Statistical Services Branch via a PHA application

  • A completed PHA application
  • A current ethics approval
  • A letter of approval issued by the Health, Innovation, Investment and Research Office (HIIRO)
  • A signed Conditions of Disclosure form for each member of your research team
Last updated: 8 June 2022