HSDS Reference

The Human Services Data Specification defines a set of objects and the relationships between them.

This page provides the canonical definition of each object and its required or optional fields.

A collection of HSDS data can be serialised as a Tabular Data Package consisting of csv files for each of the objects required, and a package descriptor (datapackage.json) file adapted from the current HSDS specification to include any additional fields and meta-data from the data publisher.

Names and descriptions

Locations, Services and Organizations all have name and description field that can contain free text.

A name and alternate_name field should only ever include plain text, without formatting.

A description field may include HTML elements or Markdown, with special characters escaped or encoded.

Consuming applications that expect plain-text only should strip HTML tags from these fields.

Publishers should also be aware that some applications may wish to extract a ‘short description’ from the description field, and may do so by looking for the first full sentance, or first line-break.

Objects and fields

organization

The organization record is used to provide basic description and details about each organization delivering services. Each service should be linked to the organization responsible for its delivery. One organization may deliver many services.

name

organization

path

organizations.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string (uuid)

Each organization must have a unique identifier.

True

True

name

string

The official or public name of the organization.

True

False

alternate_name

string

Alternative or commonly used name for the organization.

False

False

description

string

A brief summary about the organization. It can contain markup such as HTML or Markdown.

True

False

email

string (email)

The contact e-mail address for the organization.

False

False

url

string (url)

The URL (website address) of the organization.

False

False

tax_status

string

Government assigned tax designation for tax-exempt organizations.

False

False

tax_id

string

A government issued identifier used for the purpose of tax administration.

False

False

year_incorporated

date (%Y)

The year in which the organization was legally formed.

False

False

legal_status

string

The legal status defines the conditions that an organization is operating under; e.g. non-profit, private corporation or a government organization.

False

False

program

Some organizations organise their services into programs. A program brings together a number of related services.

name

program

path

programs.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each program must have a unique identifier.

True

True

organization_id

string (uuid)

Each program must belong to a single organization. The identifier of the organization should be given here.

True

False

name

string

The name of the program

True

False

alternate_name

string

An alternative name for the program

False

False

service

Services are provided by organizations to a range of different groups. Details on where each service is delivered are contained in the services_at_location table.

name

service

path

services.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each service must have a unique identifier.

True

True

organization_id

string

The identifier of the organization that provides this service.

True

False

program_id

string

The identifier of the program this service is delivered under.

False

False

name

string

The official or public name of the service.

True

False

alternate_name

string

Alternative or commonly used name for a service.

False

False

description

string

A description of the service.

False

False

url

string (url)

URL of the service

False

False

email

string (email)

Email address for the service

False

False

status

string

The current status of the service.

True

False

interpretation_services

string

A description of any interpretation services available for accessing this service.

False

False

application_process

string

The steps needed to access the service.

False

False

wait_time

string

Time a client may expect to wait before receiving a service.

False

False

fees

string

Details of any charges for service users to access this service.

False

False

accreditations

string

Details of any accreditations. Accreditation is the formal evaluation of an organization or program against best practice standards set by an accrediting organization.

False

False

licenses

string

An organization may have a license issued by a government entity to operate legally. A list of any such licenses can be provided here.

False

False

taxonomy_ids

string

(Deprecated) A comma separated list of identifiers from the taxonomy table. This field is deprecated in favour of using the service_taxonomy table.

False

False

service_taxonomy

The service taxonomy creates a link between a service and one or more classifications that describe the nature of the service provided.

name

service_taxonomy

path

services_taxonomy.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each service_taxonomy entry should have a unique identifier.

True

True

service_id

string

The identifier of the service to which this taxonomy term applies.

True

False

taxonomy_id

string

The identifier of this taxonomy term from the taxonomy table.

True

False

taxonomy_detail

string

For advanced uses, this field can indicate a constraint on this classification, using * to combine two taxonomy terms. For example: ‘Food Pantry*Homeless’ (where ‘Food Pantry’ and ‘Homeless’ are identifiers in the taxonomy table) to indicate a food pantry service for homeless clients, but not available to other client groups. In this example, there would be two entries in service_taxonomy, one with ‘Food Pantry’ and one for ‘Homeless’ in the taxonomy_id field, but both with the same ‘Food Pantry*Homeless’ value in the taxonomy_detail field.

False

False

service_at_location

The services at location table creates a link between a service and a specific location.

name

service_at_location

path

services_at_location.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier.

True

True

service_id

string

The identifier of the service at a given location.

True

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location where this service operates.

True

False

description

string

Any additional information that should be displayed to users about the service at this specific location.

False

False

location

The location tables provides details of the locations where organizations operate. Locations may be virtual, and one organization may have many locations.

name

location

path

locations.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each location must have a unique identifier

True

False

organization_id

string

Each location entry should be linked to a single organization. This is the organization that is responsible for maintaining information about this location. The identifier of the organization should be given here. Details of the services the organisation delivers at this location should be provided in the services_at_location table.

False

False

name

string

The name of the location

False

False

alternate_name

string

An alternative name for the location

False

False

description

string

A description of this location.

False

False

transportation

string

A description of the access to public or private transportation to and from the location.

False

False

latitude

number

Y coordinate of location expressed in decimal degrees in WGS84 datum.

False

False

longitude

number

X coordinate of location expressed in decimal degrees in WGS84 datum.

False

False

phone

The phone table contains details of the telephone numbers are used to contact organizations, services, and locations.

name

phone

path

phones.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location where this phone number is located

False

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this is the phone number

False

False

organization_id

string

The identifier of the organisation for which this is the phone number

False

False

contact_id

string

The identifier of the contact for which this is the phone number

False

False

service_at_location_id

string

The identifier of the ‘service at location’ table entry, when this phone number is specific to a service in a particular location.

False

False

number

string

The phone number

True

False

extension

number

The extension of the phone number

False

False

type

string

Indicates the type of phone service, drawing from the RFC6350 list of types (text (for SMS), voice, fax, cell, video, pager, textphone).

False

False

language

string

A comma separated list of ISO 639-1, or ISO 639-2 [language codes](available at http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php) to represent the languages available from this phone service. The three-letter codes from ISO 639-2 provide greater accuracy when describing variants of languages, which may be relevant to particular communities.

False

False

description

string

A description providing extra information about the phone service (e.g. any special arrangements for accessing, or details of availability at particular times.

False

False

department

string

(Deprecated) The department for which this is the phone number. This field is deprecated and will be removed in a future version of HSDS.

False

False

contact

The contact table contains details of the named contacts for services and organizations. Note that in the HSDS data package format, if an individual is the contact for multiple services, their details may be duplicated multiple times in this table, each time with a new identifier, and with the rows containing different service ids.

name

contact

path

contacts.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each contact must have a unique identifier

True

False

organization_id

string

The identifier of the organization for which this is a contact

False

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this is a contact

False

False

service_at_location_id

string

The identifier of the ‘service at location’ table entry, when this contact is specific to a service in a particular location.

False

False

name

string

The name of the person

False

False

title

string

The job title of the person

False

False

department

string

The department that the person is part of

False

False

email

string (email)

The email address of the person

False

False

physical_address

The addresses table contains the physical addresses for locations

name

physical_address

path

physical_addresses.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each physical address must have a unique identifier.

True

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which this is the address.

False

False

attention

string

The person or entity whose attention should be sought at the location (Often included as ‘care of’ component of an address.)

False

False

address_1

string

The first line(s) of the address, including office, building number and street.

True

False

address_2

string

(Deprecated) A second (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

address_3

string

(Deprecated) A third (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

address_4

string

(Deprecated) The fourth (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

city

string

The city in which the address is located.

True

False

region

string

The region in which the address is located (optional).

False

False

state_province

string

The state or province in which the address is located.

True

False

postal_code

string

The postal code for the address.

True

False

country

string

The country in which the address is located. This should be given as an ISO 3361-1 country code (two letter abbreviation).

True

False

postal_address

The postal_address table contains the postal addresses for mail to a certain location. This may differ from the physical location.

name

postal_address

path

postal_addresses.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each postal address must have a unique identifier

True

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which this is the postal address.

False

False

attention

string

The person or entity whose attention should be sought at the location (Often included as ‘care of’ component of an address.)

False

False

address_1

string

The first line(s) of the address, including office, building number and street.

True

False

address_2

string

(Deprecated) A second (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

address_3

string

(Deprecated) A third (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

address_4

string

(Deprecated) The fourth (additional) line of address information. (This field is deprecated: we recommend including all address information before ‘city’ as a comma or newline separated list in address_1. There is no guarantee that systems will read this line of address information.)

False

False

city

string

The city in which the address is located.

True

False

region

string

The region in which the address is located (optional).

False

False

state_province

string

The state or province in which the address is located.

True

False

postal_code

string

The postal code for the address.

True

False

country

string

The country in which the address is located. This should be given as an ISO 3361-1 country code (two letter abbreviation)

True

False

regular_schedule

The regular_schedule table contains details of when a service or location is open under normal circumstances. Each entry in the table can relate to one and only one day of the week.

name

regular_schedule

path

regular_schedules.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this is the regular schedule

False

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which this is the regular schedule

False

False

service_at_location_id

string

The identifier of the ‘service at location’ table entry, when this schedule is specific to a service in a particular location.

False

False

weekday

integer

The day of the week that this entry relates to: 1 = Monday; 7 = Sunday.

True

False

opens_at

time

The time when a service or location opens. This should use HH:MM format and should include timezone information, either adding the suffix ‘Z’ when the date is in UTC, or including an offset from UTC (e.g. 09:00-05:00 for 9am East Coast Time.

False

False

closes_at

time

The time when a service or location opens. This should use HH:MM format and should include timezone information, either adding the suffix ‘Z’ when the date is in UTC, or including an offset from UTC (e.g. 09:00-05:00 for 9am East Coast Time.

False

False

holiday_schedule

The holiday_schedule table contains details of when a service or location is open during holidays. Each entry in the table describes a period of one or more days, and the operating times on those days.

name

holiday_schedule

path

holiday_schedules.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this is the holiday schedule

False

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which this is the holiday schedule

False

False

service_at_location_id

string

The identifier of the ‘service at location’ table entry, when this schedule is specific to a service in a particular location.

False

False

closed

boolean

Indicates if a service or location is closed during a public holiday

True

False

opens_at

time

The time when a service or location opens. This should use HH:MM format and should include timezone information, either adding the suffix ‘Z’ when the date is in UTC, or including an offset from UTC (e.g. 09:00-05:00 for 9am East Coast Time.

False

False

closes_at

time

The time when a service or location closes. This should use HH:MM format and should include timezone information, either adding the suffix ‘Z’ when the date is in UTC, or including an offset from UTC (e.g. 09:00-05:00 for 9am East Coast Time.

False

False

start_date

date

The first day that a service or location is closed during a public or private holiday

True

False

end_date

date

The last day that a service or location is closed during a public or private holiday

True

False

funding

The funding table describes the sources of funding for a service or organisation

name

funding

path

funding.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

organization_id

string

The identifier of the organization in receipt of this funding.

False

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service in receipt of this funding

False

False

source

string

A free text description of the source of funds for this organization or service.

False

False

eligibility

The eligibility tables contains details of the eligibility criteria for particular services

name

eligibility

path

eligibility.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this entry describes the eligibility criteria

False

False

eligibility

string

The rules or guidelines that determine who can receive the service.

False

False

service_area

The service_area table contains details of the geographic area for which a service is available.

name

service_area

path

service_areas.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each service area must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this entry describes the service area

False

False

service_area

string

The geographic area where a service is available. This is a free-text description, and so may be precise or indefinite as necessary.

False

False

description

string

A more detailed description of this service area. Used to provide any additional information that cannot be communicated using the structured area and geometry fields.

False

False

required_document

The required_document table contains details of any documents that are required in order to access or use services.

name

required_document

path

required_documents.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each document must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which this entry describes the required document

False

False

document

string

The document required to apply for or receive the service. e.g. ‘Government-issued ID’, ‘EU Passport’

False

False

payment_accepted

The payment_accepted table contains details of the methods of payment that can be used in order to pay for services

name

payment_accepted

path

payments_accepted.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the services for which the entry describes the accepted payment methods

False

False

payment

string

The methods of payment accepted for the service

False

False

language

The language table contains details of the languages that are spoken at locations or services. This does not include languages which can only be used with interpretation.

name

language

path

languages.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each language must have a unique identifier

True

False

service_id

string

The identifier of the service for which the entry describes the languages in which services are delivered

False

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which the entry describes the languages in which services are delivered

False

False

language

string

Languages, other than English, in which the service is delivered. Languages are listed as ISO639-1 codes.

False

False

accessibility_for_disabilities

The accessibility_for_disabilities table contains details of the arrangements for access to locations for people who have disabilities

name

accessibility_for_disabilities

path

accessibility_for_disabilities.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

location_id

string

The identifier of the location for which the entry describes the accessibility provision

False

False

accessibility

string

Description of assistance or infrastructure that facilitate access to clients with disabilities.

False

False

details

string

Any further details relating to the relevant accessibility arrangements at this location. E.g. whether advance notice is required to use an accessibility facility.

False

False

taxonomy

Each service can be categorized according to one or more taxonomy terms. The taxonomy table contains a list of taxonomy identifiers, their names, and, for hierarchical taxonomies, their structure.

name

taxonomy

path

taxonomy.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each taxonomy entry must have a unique identifier. If combining multiple taxonomies with overlapping identifiers, use a prefix to distinguish them.

True

True

name

string

The name of this taxonomy term or category.

True

False

parent_id

string

If this is a child category in a hierarchical taxonomy, give the identifier of the parent category. For top-level categories, this should be left blank.

False

False

parent_name

string

If this is a child category in a hierarchical taxonomy, give the name of the parent category. For top-level categories, this should be left blank.

False

False

vocabulary

string

If this is an established taxonomy, detail which taxonomy is in use. For example, AIRS or Open Eligibility.

False

False

metadata

The metadata table contains a record of the changes that have been made to the data in order to maintain provenance information.

name

metadata

path

metadata.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

resource_id

string

Each service, program. location, address, or contact will have a unique identifier. Unique ids are UUIDs.

True

False

last_action_date

datetime

The date when data was changed.

True

False

last_action_type

string

The kind of change made to the data; eg create, update, delete

True

False

field_name

string

The name of field that has been modified

True

False

previous_value

string

The previous value of a field that has been updated

True

False

replacement_value

string

The new value of a field that has been updated

True

False

updated_by

string

The name of the person who updated a value

True

False

meta_table_description

The meta_table_description table contains metadata about individual tables.

name

meta_table_description

path

meta_table_descriptions.csv

format

csv

mediatype

text/csv

Field Name

Type (Format)

Description

Required?

Unique?

id

string

Each entry must have a unique identifier

True

False

name

string

False

False

language

string

False

False

character_set

string

False

False