CLASS and Data News - November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of CLASS News! We’re excited to introduce our new look newsletter with all of the latest news happening in the world of CLASS and data.


  1. End of year closure
  2. User Admin cover at your Centre
  3. CLASS Release 7
  4. Proposed changes to backups
  5. Review of Case Management Systems
  6. Data Import Tool
  7. Data Matters
  8. Data tip of the month


End of year closure

CLCs Australia closes at 5pm on Wednesday 23 December 2020 and will reopen on Monday 4 January 2021. Helpdesk is not available during this time as per your CLASS Agreement.

If you require urgent CLASS assistance during this time, we will be providing an emergency contact number on the CLASS dashboard

Please note: Between 4 and 11 January, the helpdesk will be staffed with a skeleton service for access and urgent issues.

User Admin cover at your Centre during summer break

With the end of year fast approaching, it’s a great time to check that your Centre’s CLASS Administrator (or Admin) has provided the access you need if they’re going to be on leave. There are some things only the CLASS Admin can do!

As per the CLASS Agreement, the CLASS Helpdesk isn’t authorised to send a password reset email (e.g. if you don’t know the answers to your security questions to reset your own password), reactivate your account or change what permissions you have. These changes need to be performed by your Centre’s CLASS Admin.

If your CLASS Admin will be on leave during the end of year closure period, please make sure someone else at your Centre has the right Administrator access in CLASS ahead of this time.

Please make sure that if you use a VPN to connect to CLASS, that they’re valid through to 4 January 2021.

CLASS Release 7

Over the weekend of 21-22 November, we released version 7 of CLASS for all users. The full list of changes are documented here but a few key enhancements from this release are listed below:

S11 not displaying financial year targets

The S11 report previously required you to report on the whole financial year to display accountability targets.

You can now run the S11 Report for any part of a financial year and still see the targets - if your date range crosses multiple financial years, each financial year target will be summed and the total will be displayed. The percentages to target are based on the number of records delivered against the total target during the time period you have selected.

Consider you have a target for 10 Legal Advices in 2019/20 and 15 in 2020/21. Based on the following date ranges, you will see the following values as the target for Legal Advices in S11.

Start Date

End Date














New DIY Report: Projects

There is a new report called “DIY Project Project Service” that lets you report on both Project and Project Service data (including custom fields). Project fields were not previously reportable.

This report also implements a new performance-improving feature called 'Additional Fields'.

This works in a similar way to the ‘Include Custom Fields’ checkbox in that fields with multiple possible values per Project Service such as Problem Type, Assigned To, and Activity Type can be added to a DIY report from the Field List but will not work unless you include them in the report dataset by selecting the relevant option in the new dropdown field called ‘Additional Fields’. The below screenshot shows how to add Problem Type data to a DIY Project Project Service dataset:


Screen shot of new CLASS reportScreen shot of new CLASS report


Implementing this change makes the DIY reports perform faster when you don’t need all of these additional multi-select fields.

Right now, this feature only exists in this DIY report, but existing reports may be updated to utilise this feature.

Multi-select is now available on several fields

The following service fields are now able to store multiple responses and behave in the same way as the 'Disability Status' field:

  • Rate and Payability
  • Payment or Entitlement
  • Eligibility Qualification
  • Debits and Recovery
  • Disability Discrimination Area

We have also made the client field ‘Income Source’ behave in the same way as above.
These fields have been updated to count multiple responses accordingly in any DIY reports they are available in and any printout templates you use to refer to these fields will display accordingly.

New email workflow to notify Assignee of Triage Service

We have implemented a new email template to notify someone when they have been assigned to a Triage Service (either when the service is saved from Intake or if the Assignee is changed while in Triage).

This was implemented with some bugs in the format of the email and it was enabled for everyone upon release – based on your feedback we realise that not everyone needs this email to be sent so it is now opt-in only.

If your Centre would like to have automated emails sent to your workers when they are assigned a Triage Service please contact the Helpdesk to have us enable this for you – if you have any particular formatting requirements to the email template we can help you set that up as well.

Known issues related to Release 7

So far, a couple of issues that have been reported since Release 7 (in addition to the triage email issue mentioned above). We think that they have been resolved but details of these issues are below just in case you are still experiencing them – please report them to the helpdesk if you are.




Actions with ‘Send Calendar File’ ticked do not save

This is triggered by having a blank description on your action when saving the calendar file or if the email profile associated with the calendar email template is invalid.

Multiple reminder emails are sent for each Action with a reminder/critical date

Our developers were able to resolve this issue as at the evening of 24 November.


Proposed changes to backups

We are planning to make some changes to the way back up copies of CLASS are stored to make some significant savings. By implementing a few changes we can save $10,000 per year starting now and by 2024 we will be saving $30,000 per year to the costs of maintaining CLASS.

The proposed changes would mean that backups will be available:


Time period

Back up frequency

Up to 35 days ago

Any point in time

Between 35 days and 365 days ago


Between 1 and 2 years ago


More than 2 years ago



We are planning to implement this change on 1 March 2021. Please let us know by 31 January 2021 if you have any objections, questions or concerns.

Review of case management systems

As a result of requests from a number of Centres, CLCs Australia is carrying out a high-level review of the following case management systems being used by Centres:

  • Salesforce
  • CSNet
  • Actionstep
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Leap

We plan to complete the review by the end of this year and hope to be able to make a report available to you in the new year.

The aim of this review is to provide a guide for Centres on what to look for in a case management system, and the extent to which different systems meet these requirements.

We know that each Centre has particular needs but almost all Centres want some level of functionality in the areas of:

  • client management
  • matter and service management
  • document management
  • workflow management
  • reporting
  • integration
  • security
  • archiving

The review will not be recommending particular systems but will give a high-level assessment about how well each case management systems under review performs in each area of functionality.

We are carrying out the review through a combination of demonstrations of each case management system, a questionnaire of at least 3 users of each system, and any other feedback on the systems.

Please contact Susan Scott if you have any questions.

Data import tool

It is a condition of NLAP funding agreements with CLCs that they enter their data into CLASS. To assist Centres that do not use CLASS (or want to move to a different case management system), CLCs Australia has built a tool to import reporting data into CLASS using an automated file transfer process. The tool can be configured for any case management system including Actionstep, CSNet and Salesforce.

Although a range of Centres have expressed interest in this tool and we have provided them with technical advice, no Centre has yet fully tested the data import tool.

CLCs Australia has done as much as we can to progress this work. But we are limited in what we can do until the data integration import tool has been fully tested. We cannot do this without a Centre who is willing to volunteer to test the tool.

If you are thinking about moving to another case management system, we caution you to wait until the data import tool has been fully tested for the system you are moving to, unless you are willing to factor the risk and cost of being the first to test the data import tool with that system.

Migrating data out of CLASS

A related issue for Centres wanting to move from CLASS to another system is data migration i.e. extracting data from CLASS to import into a new case management system.

Data migration is expensive and we won’t begin to work on it on until we have a better understanding about how many Centres are definitely moving to another system. We will need to pass on the costs related to this and your Centre should ensure that proper consideration is given to the costs of data extraction and migration in moving to a new system.

Data matters

NLAP reporting

The first reports under the National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP) are due on 11 March. These reports will cover the first six months of the financial year (1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020).

Please note that no changes to data collection are required under NLAP in the first 12 months of the Agreement, although there may be additional data requirements under your state agreements. CLCs Australia is working closely with states and the Commonwealth to ensure that you will be able to use CLASS to collect additional data required by NLAP after June 2021.

Ongoing legal support services

Ongoing Legal Support Service, a new service type for extended legal assistance that does not include representation, has been included in Version 2 of the National Legal Assistance Data Standards Manual. More information about Ongoing Legal Support Services, including case studies, can be found in the CLCs Australia Data Consistency Guide. Your Centre does not have to use Ongoing Legal Support unless you want to or unless you are directed to do so by your Program Manager.

We are aiming to make Ongoing Legal Support Services available in CLASS from 1 January 2021.  


Turn-aways are an important way to measure unmet legal need. CLCs Australia has developed a draft definition of turn-aways which we would love your feedback on. Please send any feedback to [email protected] by 20 December 2020.



Need help with understanding data definitions?

The Data Consistency Guide provides guidance and case studies to help Centres collect quality data in line with the National Legal Assistance Data Standards. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.



Data tip of the month: How should you count Information Services?

According to the National Legal Assistance Data Standards Manual, Information Services are subsumed by all other service types. For example:

  • If you provide a Referral and an Information Service, you only record a Referral
  • If you provide an Advice and an Information Service, you only record an Advice

Downloads of fact­sheets, self-help guides, or other resources from the Centre website or leaflets about the law picked up by people should NOT be counted as information services. However, you might want to report separately on these to demonstrate the reach and value of these resources. See the Data Consistency Guide for more information about information Services.