4902.0 - Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2001   
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The first classification within the ACLC is the Industry Classification.

In the past, two separate (non-ABS) classifications existed, one which was developed by the culture sector and one by the sport and physical recreation sector (see Chapter 1). Each covered both sectors, but without sufficient detail. In contrast, the Industry Classification within the ACLC covers both sectors in detail, and acknowledges the overlap between the two. In addition, it includes classes for culture and leisure industries which have not previously been covered by either of the two separate classifications.


The following paragraphs describe various conceptual issues relating to the ACLC Industry Classification.

An alternative view of industry

In Australia, most industry statistics are presented in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) which was developed jointly by the ABS and Statistics New Zealand (ABS and NZ Department of Statistics 1993). ANZSIC covers all industries in the Australian and New Zealand economies and is based on the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities, Third Revision (ISIC) (United Nations Statistical Office 1990). The use of ANZSIC ensures comparability of industry statistics within Australia and internationally.

Users of industry data within some industries have found that ANZSIC is too broad for their needs. That is, some users believe ANZSIC is not sufficiently detailed to enable identification of component parts of their industry, or they wish to draw together activities from classes within different ANZSIC divisions to give a more complete picture of their industry. For this reason, the ACLC Industry Classification provides more detailed industry classes and/or different groupings of activities to the ANZSIC.

The ACLC Industry Classification groups businesses whose main activities are to produce goods or provide services which are intended for use by people participating in culture or leisure activities. It also groups businesses which provide support services to those businesses.

In general, data (such as employment or turnover for culture and leisure businesses) grouped according to the ACLC Industry Classification cannot validly be compared with data for other industry groups as defined by another classification because of potential overlap between the groups being compared. For example, if data were collected for employment in the Arts division of the ACLC Industry Classification, this should not be compared with employment data for the Retailing division of ANZSIC because there are retailing classes within the Arts division of the ACLC Industry Classification; thus, overlap between the two divisions exists. Comparisons between industry groups are only valid when using data based solely on ANZSIC (or other classifications which are designed to cover the whole economy without duplication) and where the addition of data from all industry divisions or classes always represents the whole economy.

Business unit

The terms 'unit' and 'business unit' are used interchangeably throughout the Industry Classification. These terms refer to the business, government organisation, community organisation or other entity being classified or surveyed. In general, a business unit is an accounting unit for which a full set of accounts are maintained, allowing employment, profit and loss, and balance sheet data to be collected. Such a business unit may operate from one or more locations. As a result, units which are part of a larger organisation and have only an informal budget are not defined as separate business units. For example, a corporate museum (operated within another business) which does not keep a separate set of accounts would not qualify as a business unit. However, data on such secondary activities may still be collected. More information on this can be found in the introduction to Chapter 3, on the Product Classification.

While the ACLC Industry Classification is designed to classify accounting units, it may also be used to classify other statistical units as long as comparison is undertaken with caution. For example, in a household survey, people may be asked to describe the activities undertaken at their place of work, and this information may be used to classify the respondent's industry of employment. However, the place of work may be a component of a larger business and may not have its own set of accounts. Thus, compared with the location at which the respondent works, the larger business may be classified to a different industry. As a consequence, measures of industry employment derived from such a survey are not strictly comparable with those derived from a survey of business (or accounting) units.

Any class may contain business units which are a mix of private, government and community organisations and individuals undertaking business activities.

Classification by predominant activity

All business units can be either classified to a class within the ACLC Industry Classification or considered to be out of scope of the Classification. The process of allocating a business unit to an industry class involves a decision about the main activity or objective of the unit. That is, business units involved in activities belonging to more than one class are coded to the class covering their main activity. Generally this involves determining which activity accounts for the majority of the unit's revenue or expense and is hence the predominant activity. However, there are exceptions to this method of determining predominance and they are explained within the definitions of the individual classes. For instance, it is recognised that the major source of revenue for newspaper publishers and for radio and television services is usually advertising. Yet, it is clear that the main objective of a radio station, for example, is to operate a radio service and it would be classified accordingly.

There are business units which carry out culture and leisure activities but the culture or leisure activities may form only a small part of their overall activities. Such businesses would be out of scope of (i.e. not included in) the ACLC Industry Classification. For instance, a business may have an in-house library. However, if the main activity of the business is not related to culture or leisure, the business would be out of scope of the ACLC Industry Classification. Similarly, many government units undertake in-scope activities, but if their main activity is not related to culture or leisure, the units are out of scope. In addition, a business may only be classified to one industry class. For example, a business that engages in both book publishing and literature retailing will only be classified to the industry class representing its predominant activity.

In all of the above cases, it is important to acknowledge that any culture and leisure activity of interest may take place in industries both within and outside of the scope of the ACLC Industry Classification, and within and outside the scope of the individual industry class which appears most relevant to that activity. Thus, the ACLC Product Classification (see Chapter 3) is designed to list, and group, culture and leisure goods and services which may be produced, or provided by, any business unit in the Australian economy. Using the last example given above, regardless of the industry to which the business is classified, it may be asked for data on the books it sells as distinct from the books it publishes. The extent to which data may be obtained for these products will depend on the level of detail in business records. More information on the use of the Product Classification may be found in the introduction to Chapter 3.

On-line activities

In general, the medium for conduct of an activity does not affect the classification of the unit. If the predominant activity of a business is conducted on the Internet or by other electronic means, the business is classified in the same way as if the activity were conducted 'face-to-face' or by other more traditional means. For example, businesses with the predominant activity of publishing a periodical either entirely on the Internet or as a printed publication would be classified to the same class (Class 213 Periodical Publishing). In addition, an on-line antiques auction business would be classified to Class 113 Antiques Retailing and Restoration, as would a traditional antiques auction house. One exception to this rule has been made in the case of casinos. The experience of visiting a casino, often in an opulent building, and all the additional services associated with such a visit, is seen as quite different from accessing a casino service on-line. As a consequence, on-line casinos are included in Class 419 Other Gambling Services, rather than in Class 411 Casinos.

Limitations of the ACLC Industry Classification

The ACLC Industry Classification includes and groups businesses based on the intended purpose of the goods and services they are mainly engaged in producing. (Further discussion on the ‘intended purpose’ concept is included in Chapter 3.) In contrast, to a large extent, ANZSIC groups together units which engage in the same or similar production or service delivery processes and generally use similar technology.

This difference in approach between the two industry classifications is particularly evident in the manufacturing classes and affects some other classes to a similar or lesser extent. In the ACLC Industry Classification, businesses whose main activity is the production of goods for which the intended purpose is culture or leisure pursuits are grouped according to purpose, e.g. sports and physical recreation. In contrast, in ANZSIC, manufacturing businesses are generally grouped according to the inputs and processes used (e.g. wood product manufacturing, metal product manufacturing, etc.). For example, the businesses classified to the ACLC Industry Class 341 Sports and physical recreation goods manufacturing are mainly engaged in producing a range of goods intended for use in sports and physical recreation, such as sports clothes, sports shoes, weightlifting equipment, camping equipment, and synthetic sports surfaces. The businesses classified to the ACLC Industry Class 481 Other culture and leisure goods manufacturing n.e.c. are mainly engaged in producing products used by children and adults for a range of leisure activities, such as watching TV, playing with pets, playing in a playground, playing board games, playing arcade games, gambling on poker machines, taking photos on family outings, and listening to recorded music. Because of the different conceptual basis of ANZSIC, many of these businesses are classified to a range of disparate ANZSIC classes, and are grouped with businesses such as manufacturing metal, chemical, paper and electronic products which are not used for leisure purposes.

It follows that it would not be possible to obtain data for these classes through any standard ABS industry survey. It may be possible to produce estimations of components of these classes via surveys collecting product and industry data, but any attempt to produce aggregate data for these classes should be approached with extreme caution.


Structure and numbering

The ACLC Industry Classification has a hierarchical structure comprising categories at three levels, namely divisions (the broadest level), groups and classes (the finest level). Divisions and groups are defined by the aggregation of the definitions of their component classes.

At the division level, the main purpose is to broadly identify the main culture and leisure segments. There are four divisions in the ACLC Industry Classification. These are identified by a number as follows:

      1. Heritage
      2. Arts
      3. Sports and Physical Recreation
      4. Other Culture and Leisure

A number of organisations provide services to both the culture and the sport and physical recreation sectors. For instance, management services for professional sportspeople may be provided by the same businesses that provide these services to performing artists. Also, booking agencies generally provide a service for both sectors. Some of the classes in Division 4 are designed to cater for these overlaps.

The group and class levels provide increasingly detailed dissections of the broad categories. Each group is represented by a two-digit code, and each class by a three-digit code. In total there are 4 divisions, 22 groups and 75 classes within the ACLC Industry Classification.

To be consistent with other ABS classification numbering conventions, a '9' appearing as the third digit in a class number usually designates a 'miscellaneous' class, and is labelled 'other' or 'n.e.c.' (meaning 'not elsewhere classified'). These miscellaneous classes usually constitute diverse primary activities which are not sufficiently 'significant' to justify separate classes.

Each division and group description contains a definition. Each class description includes: a definition of the units which would be classified to that class; a set of notes explaining exclusions from the class and references to more appropriate classes for those exclusions; and a list of primary activities associated with the class.

Alphabetic list of primary activities

Immediately following the detailed ACLC Industry Classification is an alphabetic listing of the names of primary activities within its scope. The class to which a primary activity belongs can be determined by looking up its name in the alphabetic list.

Correspondence to ANZSIC

The Industry Classification of the ACLC was developed as an alternative view to ANZSIC and tables are included to illustrate how the ACLC Industry Classification classes correspond to ANZSIC classes and vice versa. Where the correspondence is partial, this is indicated in the table by 'p'. Minor correspondences are not shown. Where no major correspondence exists, this is indicated by an asterisk ('*').

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