Training Course on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems

The International Statistics Program has developed a training course on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems to provide information to epidemiologists, statisticians, demographers, and others working in public health about vital statistics data gathered from a national civil registration system. Even though CRVS systems may differ somewhat from country to country, there are internationally accepted principles and recommendations for national CRVS systems. Accordingly, the course contains a general description of the administrative process of civil registration and fundamentals of vital statistics generated from a national civil registration system. The intent is to provide background information for persons using vital statistics data so they understand how those data are obtained, ways to use and disseminate the data, and some problems and limitations of the data. The course does not cover the detailed legal and administrative issues that would be of use to persons working in a country’s office of civil registration. Instead, a general overview is provided about the civil registration process with emphasis on issues that are related to vital statistics data collection.

The objectives of this course are as follows:

  • To provide an overview of the major components of a national CRVS system;
  • To describe the characteristics and functions of a civil registration system, as a source for vital statistics data;
  • To explain how to use, present, disseminate, and assess vital statistics data for health purposes; and
  • To describe ways to assess and improve civil registration and vital statistics systems.

The content of this course has been compiled from a variety of published sources or created by the course designers. Materials may be reproduced, copied, and distributed to the public as long as relevant authors are acknowledged.

To cover the course content and activities in full, at least ten training days are recommended. The instructor teaching the class should add/modify slides and content of this course as needed to customize the course to the needs of the participants. Aspects for potential customization include modifying content to meet: course objectives, the audience, length of training, and geographic representation.

This course includes the following materials:

The course will be continuously updated as needs arise; additional exercises, activities, and content may be added to the course. Updates will be made available as they are developed.

A basic version of this course is available in French. Please contact Erin Nichols (; +1-301-458-4426) to request additional course material, to suggest additional course topics, or to suggest modifications to existing course materials.