The Department of Social Security 'Data Exchange' (DSS DEX) is a relatively new reporting mechanism for DSS funded organisations.

It is already in use for the Commonwealth Home Support (CHSP) and NDIS Appeals programs and it is expected it will be used for NDAP reporting from 1-Jul-2017 (this date is subject change).

The DEX provides a consistent reporting mechanism across a range of funding programs, which ultimately reduces the complexity of your organisation's reporting requirements, however there are also various limitations in the data collected through the DEX.

The steps you need to follow to access and use the DEX are -

  1. Obtain access to the DEX
  2. Setup your organisation
  3. Provide DEX configuration files to 1024

Please see the DSS DEX website's training resources for detailed information and instructions regarding accessing will give you a good idea of the data collected by the DEX.

Ivo is already mostly compliant with the DEX for the CHSP and NDIS Appeals and is ready for the NDAP program.  The only additional functionality to be added to Ivo is collection of the SCORE, which is currently being completed. There may also be changes to the DEX specifically for NDAP that have not been announced yet, at which time Ivo will be updated accordingly.

At reporting time, once you have ensured that the data in Ivo is up-to-date and complete, you simply generate a file within Ivo that you then upload to the DEX. That is all that is required and the upload process takes about 5 minutes.


It is important to know that the department provides a free online system for you to record client data for the DEX - you do not need to use a paid product, including Ivo.  However, it is also important to know that there are significant limitations to the DSS' online tool, such as -

  • there is no function to record file notes!  You can record very basic "session records" in relation to clients in which you can record the date, "service type" (eg. advocacy, intake etc) and duration;
  • you can't add attachments to a session record;
  • the DEX does not collect data elements such as Issue Type, or Referral Source etc;
  • you can't collect additional data elements that might be of interest to your organisation, whereas Ivo 'stats' function allows virtually any additional elements to be collected;
  • the reports available are only those that they provide to you. To my knowledge, there is no ability to have additional reports created for you, whereas Ivo's "Queries" function provides the ability to extract virtually any kind of desired data;
  • Client information is limited. For example, the list of disabilities that can be selected from is -
    - Intellectual learning;
    - Psychiatric;
    - Sensory/Speech;
    - Physical/Diverse;
    - Not Stated or inadequately described;
    - None;
    (Please note that it is intention of the NDAP program for more disabilities to be available to choose from in the future, however at present, these are the only options available.)