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Research requests in SSB

To access identifiable or potentially identifiable data from Statistical Services Branch (SSB) for research purposes, your application must be approved either under the Public Health Act 2005 (PHA) or with the authority of individual patients (informed consent). Ethics approval will also be required before you receive final approval to access the data.


Approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is required to access identifiable data for research purposes.

The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) is the contact for researchers seeking advice and direction on ethical and governance issues associated with the conduct of research using Queensland Health data.

PHA application

To apply under the Public Health Act 2005 (PHA) to access data from the SSB for research purposes, you must complete a PHA application form, have it signed by all relevant data custodians and seek final approval from the Director General (or Delegate) of Queensland Health (via ORI).

The Director-General's delegate for Chapter 6 Part 4 of the Public Health Act 2005 will assess the application and supporting documentation and if appropriate issue an approval notice. SSB will commence extraction and linkage of the requested data after you supply a copy of your final approval notice to

For more information see the Statistical Services Branch PHA tips.


For a consent-based data request to be approved, you must be able to demonstrate that the study cohort has given informed consent for release and linkage of the data being requested.

You will be required to provide documentation that you have effectively communicated the scope of the data being requested (e.g. in the consent form or an information sheet), that your cohort has given consent (by supplying SSB with a sample of signed consent forms), and that other data custodians have given approval for data linkage (if applicable).

The specifics of your data request should be detailed in an SSB consent form template (doc, 124KB) for consideration by the SSB Data Custodian.

How long will this take?

Timeframes depend on the size and complexity of your request and of any other data requests currently being processed. You should allow six months in your project plan to organise approvals and receive the data. Once all approvals are complete, SSB can provide a more accurate time frame for data provision.

For more information see How long will this research request take?

What about data linkage?

If your research requires data from multiple data collections it may be possible to link the data. Data linkage is a process that is used to combine information that relates to an individual entity from within or across multiple sources. Further information about the data linkage process is available on the SSB Data Linkage in Queensland page. If you require the Statistical Services Branch to link several data sets for your project, please liaise with the Statistical Services Branch before seeking approval from other data custodians.

If you have any questions about this process or what is available in the SSB data collections, please contact SSB by email at

Last updated: 17 May 2022