About PCOC

About the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration


The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is a national program that utilises standardised clinical assessment tools to measure and benchmark patient outcomes in palliative care. Participation in PCOC is voluntary and can assist palliative care service providers to improve practice and meet the Palliative Care Australia (PCA) Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for all Australians. This is achieved via the PCOC dataset; a multi-purpose framework designed to:

  • provide clinicians with an approach to systematically assess individual patient experiences,
  • define a common clinical language to streamline communication between palliative care providers and
  • facilitate the routine collection of national palliative care data to drive quality improvement through reporting and benchmarking.

The PCOC dataset includes the clinical assessment tools: Palliative Care Phase, Palliative Care Problem Severity Score (PCPSS), Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS), Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status (AKPS) scale and Resource Utilisation Groups – Activities of Daily Living (RUG-ADL).

PCOC Zones

PCOC has divided Australia into four zones for the purpose of engaging with palliative care service providers. Each zone is represented by a chief investigator from one of the collaborative centres. The four PCOC zones and their respective chief investigators are: 


PCOC map

Central Zone Professor Kathy Eagar, Australian Health Services Research Institute, UOW
North Zone Professor Patsy Yates, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, QUT
South Zone Professor David Currow, Department of Palliative & Supportive Services, Flinders University
West Zone Asst/Prof Claire Johnson, Cancer & Palliative Care Research & Evaluation Unit, University of WA

Each zone is also represented by one or more quality improvement facilitators, whose role includes supporting services to participate in PCOC and facilitating ongoing service development and quality improvement. The national team, located within the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, coordinates the patient outcomes reporting, education program, and quality activities across the four zones.


PCOC is governed by the Management Advisory Board (MAB). The Board is responsible for the strategic and executive management of PCOC including its clinical and scientific governance and for compliance. It meets twice a year, and has an independent chair, Mr Noel Hicks. Mr Hicks is a long-time resident of Griffith NSW who has a strong personal commitment to palliative care. More information on Management of PCOC is available here. 



  • Understanding PCOC - Video - To download this video right-click the link, and then click Save As, select the location you would like it saved on your computer, and then click Save.

PCOC Data Set

Find out more about the information PCOC collects.

Data submission

Information on data submission.

Answers to FAQs about PCOC generally, patient outcome reports and data quality reports.

Related websites

View a list of related websites, including PCOC partners and relevant resources.

Last reviewed: 11 August, 2016

PCOC thumb 

Contact Us

Notice Board

Download the National Compendium Report

PCOC Compendium Cover

NEW REPORT - Trends in patient outcomes: 2009-2016

PCOC Trends Cover

Clinical Manual

Centre of Research Excellence in End of Life CareNew module on knowledge translation using a PCOC scenario

Physical Symptoms at the Time of Dying Was DiagnosedJ Pall Med

Breathlessness During the Last Week of Life in Palliative CareJ Pain Symptom Manage

Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS)Now translated in 14 languages