The Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) is a specialist data linkage unit established in 2009 with funding from the national Population Health Research Network (PHRN) and the Victorian Government.

The CVDL is based in the Victorian Agency of Health Information (VAHI) in the Department of Health.

We aim to

  • provide trusted whole-of-population de-identified linked data to researchers and policy makers to support evidence-based insights and improve planning and service delivery, while adhering to Victorian privacy principles
  • develop new data linkage capacity in Victoria and extend the capability for building a nationwide data linkage infrastructure
  • facilitate and create opportunities for Victorian researchers to undertake innovative, world-class research using linked data drawn from existing datasets.

The teams

Client services

  • Client Services provide initial assessment of the technical feasibility of your research project and assist with administration and coordination, from the application stage through to the delivery of the linked data. The team will also coordinate data custodian approvals and prepare any other documentation or approvals that may be required within the department.

Data Warehouse team

  • The Data Warehousing team are responsible for the extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) process to bring new data into CVDL’s existing data holdings. For example, if your project has collected bespoke data that you want to be linked to the Integrated Data Resource (IDR) for analysis, the Data Warehousing team will securely bring the data in (ingest) and convert it to a format that can be utilised with the IDR. The team are also responsible for establishing and maintaining pipelines to routinely bring existing government data into the IDR as part of the regular update process.

Linkage team

  • The Linkage team facilitates linking of your study cohort (where applicable) to the Victorian Linkage Map (VLM) and assigns a linkage key to each record. All identifying information is removed and the de-identified file can be transferred to the Content team. The Linkage team only has access to identifiable data, not to the content or clinical data.

Content team

  • The Content team provides guidance and advice on the content variables available in the Integrated Data Resource (IDR). The Content team prepares and finalises the technical specifications before extracting the relevant data as per project requirements. The Content team never see any identifying information, only having access to the content/clinical data.


The CVDL operating model is governed by several Acts and Regulations such as the Victorian Health Records Acts 2001, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, Health Privacy Principles (HPP) and the Information Privacy Principles (IPP) from respective Acts. Please see the Data Custodian page for further information.

To find out more about how the Centre for Victorian Data Linkages can assist you with your data linkage project email us at [email protected].