Our Auckland office is closed while the region is at Covid-19 Level 3. However, our staff remain available by phone and email. See Our People section for contact details. Stay safe.

HoNOS family of measures

The Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS) is a clinician-rated tool

It is used to measure the health and social functioning of people using services. It was developed by the United Kingdom Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Unit.

There are five measures in the HoNOS suite:

  • HoNOS: for adults aged 18-64 years.
  • HoNOSCA: for children and adolescents aged 4-17 years.
  • HoNOS65+: amended version of the HoNOS for adults aged 65 and over.
  • HoNOS-LD: for adults who have a dual diagnosis, such as mental illness and an intellectual disability.
  • HoNOS-secure: for adults who are being supported by forensic services.

National HoNOS summary reports are sent to DHBs and some NGOs every three months. The reports provide an overall picture of data quality, what has changed for people using services, and how services perform.

HoNOS training

A range of training options are available to introduce clinicians to the HoNOS family of measures or to refresh their knowledge. Te Pou also offers training for people to become HoNOS outcome trainers within their service.

Collection protocol

DHBs and some NGOs are required by the Ministry of Health to collect HoNOS information, therefore clinicians need to be trained in HoNOS collection.

Te Pou developed an Information Collection Protocol (ICP) which describes how, when and what outcomes information is collected. In order for the information to be useful, it is essential that the outcomes collection is carried out as directed in the Information Collection Protocol (ICP).

The ICP requires that an outcomes collection is completed at the start and end of periods of care, in either inpatient or community settings and at three-monthly intervals, when treatment is more than three months

The National Outcomes Collection: Clinician's Reference Guide outlines everything clinicians need to know to collect and use HoNOS appropriately.

Guides for clinicians

A set of New Zealand guides have been developed as a resource for:

  • clinicians and managers in mental health services
  • site coordinators and data quality personnel
  • outcomes trainers (to assist deliver training in their respective services).

Each guide brings together resources that have previously been available as separate documents. These include the Clinician’s Reference Guide Version 2.1, 2014; the Mental Health Outcomes Information Collection Protocol (ICP) Version 2.2, and the original e-booklets for each of the HoNOS measures.

Each measure in the HoNOS family has a guide available.

Achieving collection compliance

Outcome collection rates are important to improve the quality of data collected.

The Ministry of Health set collection targets for all services who collect HoNOS.

Ministry of Health collection rate targets

Collection targets have been set for inpatient and community services. It recognises current collection levels and capacity of inpatient and community settings to collect outcomes information. The targets are:

  • inpatient, admission inpatient and discharge inpatient - 80 per cent
  • community - 80 per cent

Supporting DHBs to achieve HoNOS compliance

There are six key ways Te Pou works to assist DHBs to achieve HoNOS compliance. This assistance includes, but is not limited to:

  • targeted training for DHB managers and clinicians on the collection and use of outcomes information.
  • access to user-friendly reports using the DHBs' own data.
  • explanatory information on the reports so DHB staff can interpret tables and graphs.
  • assistance with system processes so DHBs can ensure their collections are compliant with the ICP.
  • advice and support to DHBs as required to eliminate outcomes data anomalies.
  • support networks and linkages.

Improving compliance

Outcome compliance: how to make yours better was written in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. It discusses the factors that influence compliance and summarises the data conditions used to include or exclude episodes from compliance reporting. These data conditions will aid users to better understand their outcomes compliance and can be used as a checklist against local data.

Involving tāngata whai ora and whānau

Often tāngata whai ora and their whānau are not aware that one of the HoNOS family of measures is collected about them, however, involving them in outcomes collection can improve the quality and quantity of data collected.

Key Contacts



Related Initiatives



Te Pou has a wide range of evidence-based resources and tools to help the mental health, addiction and disability workforces.

Learn More

Our work

Te Pou works alongside mental health and addiction services, and disability organisations to understand their priorities and workforce challenges.

Learn More