UCR Technical Specifications, User Manuals, and Data Tools
These technical specifications, user manuals, and data tools provide instructions to assist law enforcement agencies in submitting Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data either through state UCR programs or directly to the FBI. Explanations for documents relative to each data collection or initiative follow.
As the UCR Program transitions to a NIBRS-only data collection, changes have been implemented at the national level, though not all have been adopted by state and local agencies at this time. Applicable specifications are identified below.
- Current NIBRS Documents
Most current documentation supporting NIBRS crime data submissions.
- 2019.2.1 NIBRS Technical Specification
Provides information necessary to create proper UCR NIBRS flat file submissions. Intended for use in conjunction with the 2021.1 NIBRS User Manual.
- 2019.2.2 NIBRS XML Developer’s Guide
Provides information necessary to create proper UCR NIBRS Extensible Markup Language (XML) data submissions. Intended for use in conjunction with the 2019.2 NIBRS XML IEPD and 2021.1 NIBRS User Manual.
- 2019.2 NIBRS XML IEPD (zip)
Provides the XML schema and aligns with the 2019.2.2 NIBRS XML Developer’s Guide.
- 2021.1 NIBRS User Manual
Addresses UCR NIBRS policies, the types of offenses reported via UCR NIBRS, and guidelines for an agency to become certified to submit UCR NIBRS data to the FBI.
- 2019.2.1 NIBRS Technical Specification
- NIBRS XCOTA Tool
The NIBRS XCOTA (XML Conformance Testing Assistant) Tool is designed to assist agencies and vendors in testing sample XML files during the development phase to gauge the accuracy of the output product before submitting data to the FBI. It performs XML schema validation, as well as NIBRS business rule checks. Please note, the NIBRS XCOTA Tool is only intended to support agencies during their development effort and cannot be used for formal NIBRS certification.
- UCR-NIBRS WS ICD
Outlines the specification of requirements imposed on one or more systems, subsystems, hardware configuration items, computer software configuration items, manual operations, or other system components to achieve one or more interfaces among these entities. The UCR-NIBRS Web Services (WS) Interface Control Document (ICD) is compatible with the 2019.2.1 NIBRS Technical Specification, 2019.1 NIBRS Technical Specification, and NIBRS Technical Specification 3.2.1. The purpose of the NIBRS WS is to foster machine-to-machine communication for the complex, multi-stage, round-trip business process of NIBRS submissions. NIBRS WS will shorten the communication cycle between law enforcement agencies’ systems and the FBI’s UCR system and streamline the re-submission of reports to redress errant data. Ultimately, NIBRS WS will improve the quality of the UCR repository and make validated crime data accessible in a timelier manner.
The PE Information Collection captures an annual count of full-time sworn male and female law enforcement officers and the total number of full-time male and female civilian employees as of October 31 of the reporting year. This document is applicable for all law enforcement agencies regardless of whether they submit UCR data via NIBRS or Summary.
- Police Employee Technical Specification (Version 1.7)
Most current release for Police Employee data submission instructions to assist all law enforcement agencies in submitting PE data to the UCR Program.
Collects aggregate counts of the number of occurrences of Part I offenses, as well as arrest data for both Part I offenses and Part II offenses in monthly summary reports. These documents are applicable through the retirement of the SRS.
- SRS User Manual (Version 1.0)
Describes how SRS offenses are to be classified, scored, and reported to the UCR Program.
SRS Technical Specification is available upon request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Captures detailed data for crimes motivated by bias against victims’ perceived race, ethnicity, or ancestry; gender or gender identity; religion; disability; and sexual orientation.
- Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual (Version 3.0)
Removes the information for reporting Hate Crime data via the SRS, adds federal and tribal offenses, as well as anti-Asian training scenarios. Revises sexual orientation training scenarios to incorporate non-binary verbiage.
Hate Crime Technical Specification is available upon request via email to email@example.com.
Collects statistics on the criminal taking of cargo that is moving in commerce at all points. The objective is to capture the essence of the national cargo theft crime problem and its negative effect on the economy of the United States.
- Cargo Theft User Manual (Version 1.0)
Addresses policy and provides information regarding the types of offenses that constitute a cargo theft incident, how to identify a cargo theft, and guidelines for reporting cargo theft.
Cargo Theft Technical Specification is available upon request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the request of the law enforcement community, the FBI established the National Use-of-Force Data Collection.
The collection includes data about actions by a law enforcement officer which resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, or when a law enforcement officer, in the absence of death or serious bodily injury, discharged a firearm at or in the direction of a person. Statistical reports will emphasize the collective nature of data concerning circumstances, subjects, and officers to gain perspective on use-of-force incidents for use in identifying trends and characteristics.
- National Use-of-Force Data Collection Flat File and Bulk Load Technical Specification
Provides the record layout for report segments and related data elements. The bulk load feature enables report submissions outside of the web application interface.
- Final Use-of-Force Extensible Markup Language (XML) Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) (zip)
Provides the XML schema. Intended for use in conjunction with the National Use-of-Force Data Collection Flat File and Bulk Load Technical Specification.
- The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division manages information services that are critical to law enforcement and public safety. Providing information in a timely, accurate, and consistent fashion is key to the success of these services. The CJIS Data Standards Team focuses on the mechanism for exchanging this vital information with CJIS' external partners.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has designated the use of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) as the technology for exchanging data. Furthermore, the use of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is preferred. CJIS provides interfaces to its major information services via XML data exchanges that utilize the NIEM model and standards. These NIEM exchanges are provided to exchange partners as Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPDs). Criminal Justice Information Services | Data Standards (cjis.gov)
The UCR QAR is an assessment of state and federal UCR programs and their compliance to the standards and guidelines of the FBI’s UCR Program.
QARs are administered on a triennial cycle to state and federal UCR programs with law enforcement agencies reporting data according to NIBRS specifications. The objective of the QAR is to evaluate the validity of reported crime data as specified by the FBI’s UCR Program resource materials.
For more information on the QAR process, please read:
- QAR Standard Reference Guide
Provides the standards and guidelines assessed during the QAR.
- QAR Methodology
Provides an overview of the QAR.