System Performance Measures

It’s SPM submission season! 

What are SPMs?

In May 2018, our community reviews and submits System Performance Measures (SPMs) for the previous Federal Fiscal Year (FFY17). SPMs are nationwide monitoring and evaluation processes implemented by HUD. They’re designed to:

  1. Help Continuum of Care (CoC) communities understand how their system is functioning, 
  2. HelpCoC Coordinators determine if they have deployed the right combination of strategies and resources, and  
  3. Gauge their progress toward the goal of ending homelessness.

In addition, HUD uses this system-level performance information as a competitive element in its annual CoC Program Competition (the NOFA). 


In practice, SPMs are a set of reports generated from HMIS by CoCs, evaluating performance on the seven measures listed above. 

What's ICA's Role?

  1. Provide HUD-compliant SPM reports and data quality tools for CoC submission, and  
  2. Assess how well our CoCs are doing on the SPMs.  

This type of system evaluation includes assessing whether data quality problems are affecting the accuracy of SPMs our CoCs submit. We help answer the question, “how did our community perform?” 

What's My Role?

Unlike other mandated federal projects (the AHAR and PIT), most project types participate in SPMs to some degree.  

The following project types, regardless of CoC-funding, are included in SPMs: 

Emergency Shelter (ES), Transitional Housing (TH), Safe Haven (SH), Street Outreach (SO), Rapid Rehousing (RRH), Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Permanent Housing (PH) 

Housing Support (GRH) Providers: Since Housing Support (GRH) wasn’t in HMIS until 11/1/2017, you will not be included in the reporting period.  Contact the Helpdesk with any questions.

HMIS users that conduct data entry for these projects, regardless of funding source, will hear from your Regional System Administrators directly in the coming weeks with specific data entry issues in need of immediate attention. Block off time on your calendar the week of May 6th for data clean-up. 

What data, over what time period, do you review?

The good news is we have been here before!

In May 2018, we submit SPM data for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) that just ended. FFY17 SPMs (referred to as “current year” in the reports) run from 10/1/2016-9/30/2017 (they include a “prior year” comparison of 10/1/2015-9/30/2016).  

For ES, TH, and PSH projects who participated in AHAR, this reviews the same set of clients. However, SPM focuses on different aspects of the data, looking at how the system moves in concert, rather than household demographics. Additionally, SPMs pull in additional project types that were not reviewed for AHAR. 

What HMIS data elements do SPMs use?

Here are the data elements relevant to SPMs: 

Data Quality Issue 
  • Excessive length of stay and/or unexited clients 
  • 3.917 Living Situation question series
  • Relationship to HoH 
  • Project Start Date (incorrect overlap issues)
  • Annual Assessments incomplete or completed in incorrect date range
  • DOB issues
  • Income & sources subassessment errors
  • Exit Destination errors
  • Missing Housing Move-In Date for PH, PSH, PH-S


How will ICA communicate needed data corrections?

You are not expected to run these reports yourself. Your RSA will send your HMIS user contact a detailed email containing:  

  1. All data issues in need of correction. 
  2. Detailed instructions for each correction type. 
  3. Instructions for how to run the reports yourself to verify fixes. 

Because the SPMs are vast, involving numerous reports (11, count them, 11!), we have a targeted data corrections approach. Rather than asking all HMIS users to run this set of reports on their own, users will hear directly from their RSA via email.  

What’s the timeline?

SPMs happens fast! Real fast. We recommend blocking time on your calendars NOW for error corrections; they’re coming! There are only two dates you need to know: 

May 4th: Expect to hear from your RSA before May 4th. They will provide datasets in need of corrections, as well as detailed steps to do so.  

May 18th: Agencies have until May 18th at 5pm to complete all data corrections in HMIS. This means you have TWO WEEKS to complete your data corrections.

ICA MN Resources

While you will hear directly from your RSAs with targeted corrections, we’re publishing the guides to data correction, a list of the reports and prompts, as well as a reference guide for understanding what each measure does. If you would like to be proactive and run these yourself. We recommend starting with the 0640 HUD Data Quality Framework report.

SPM Data Corrections Guide

SPM FFY17 Report Prompts

SPM Reference Guide: Measures, Reports, & Data Quality

Where to learn more

If you’d like to learn more about SPMs, you can visit HUD’s System Performance Measures site. You can also watch HUD’s SPM Training videos, an informative series of videos that explain each measure.