Data Inclusion and Exclusion Policy

About the 211 Nova Scotia Database

211 Nova Scotia Information and Referral Service (211 Nova Scotia) is a free, confidential information and referral service that enables the public to easily find community, health, and social services. Maintaining an up-to-date human services database that reflects the needs of Nova Scotians is a key priority of 211 Nova Scotia.

The 211 Nova Scotia resource database is intended to provide:

211 Nova Scotia is governed by a Board of Directors. All services are delivered by staff of 211 Nova Scotia, including the collection and maintenance of data for the 211 resource database.

Purpose of the Data Inclusion and Exclusion Policy

This policy helps define the scope of the resource database and the principals upon which inclusion/exclusion decisions are made. The policy clarifies the standards and criteria for the organizations and services that will be included and excluded from the resource database.

Areas for Inclusion

The 211 Nova Scotia Inclusion and Exclusion Policy is based on the definition of human services identified by the standardization body that accredits Information and Referral Services, the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS).

Human services “help people become more self-sufficient, prevent dependency, strengthen family relationships, support personal and social development and ensure the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities… Human services also facilitate the capabilities of people to care for children or other dependents; ensure that protective services are available to those who are vulnerable; provide for support of older adults and people with disabilities; offer social, religious, and leisure time activities; provide for the cultural enrichment of the community; and ensure that people have the information they need to fully participate in community life.” (AIRS Standards for Professional Information & Referral and Quality Indicators, V.9.0, 2020).

The resource database includes organizations providing direct services that are available to the general public. Direct services may include the dissemination of information and/or referrals to service providers. Organizations may serve the public either in person, by telephone, via the
internet (including e-mail or other online forum), or through other emerging technologies.

These organizations include:

Discretionary Inclusion

Certain private, for-profit, commercial organizations that provide a community service not sufficiently offered by the non-profit sector may be included if they offer a service that is both free and open to the general public. In these cases, only those services that are free to the general public will be listed.


211 Nova Scotia sets first and second priorities for the listing of services in the database. Priorities are subject to change as we continually evaluate the needs of the Nova Scotian community.

First priority areas

For first priority areas, every effort is made to have comprehensive listings of all eligible services. First priority areas include but are not limited to the following:

Second priority areas

For second priority areas, collection depends on staff resources, and data maintenance agreements with other agencies. Rather than collect comprehensive information in second priority areas, 211 Nova Scotia may refer users to services that maintain current data and provide central referral for a particular service need. The following are second priority services, unless they are targeted toward one of the first priority demographics:

Additional second priority services include:


211 Nova Scotia reserves the right to:

Refuse to list organizations that have been in existence for less than six months.

Appeal Process

Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to 211 Nova Scotia, after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with the 211 data managers