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Safe Researcher training

The Safe Researcher Courses are run by the ADLS on behalf of the ESRC. The course consists of six different modules specifically designed for researchers who wish to apply for and use administrative data.

A researcher who has attended this course will have the basic knowledge to treat administrative data in a responsible manner. This is the basic requirement of any application to a data holder for access to their administrative data. The course has been endorsed by major administrative data holding organisations in the UK and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The course is also an approved method for accessing some of the major health and social care administrative datasets in Scotland.  See below for further information.

The course is specifically focused on the safe and responsible use of administrative data and aims to provide researchers with a basic grounding in issues relating to the handling of administrative data and good practice methods in using administrative data.

Course content
The course contains six modules covering the the following topics:

1. An introduction to administrative data in the UK
2. Responsibilities of a safe researcher
3. Creating safe settings and data security
4. Good practice in the analysis of administrative datasets
5. Understanding statistical disclosure and avoiding disclosive outputs
6. Making effective applications for administrative data

Data Access
Completion of the ADLS Safe Researcher training course is one of the approved methods for access to the following datasets:

1. NHS Scotland – ScottisH Informatics Programme (SHIP) electronic patient records datasets for research purposes.  More information on these datasets is available from here.  More information about SHIP and Record Linkage is available from here.  Approval lasts for two years before the course will need to be refreshed.

2. Scottish Government – Linked Social Care, Housing and Health dataset.  This linked dataset will be available for research purposes in 2013.  Further details will be available in the near future.

All courses for 2013 have now been completed.  We may also be able to run the course for your organisation subject to a minimum booking.  For further information contact the ADLS. 

Meeting future training needs
The ADLS will be assessing the feasibility of developing an online course with formative assessment to provide the flexibility for delegates to access and complete the Safe Researcher training course in their own time.  This addition will also help improve timescales between taking the course and accessing the datasets listed above.  Keep upto date with progress by registering with us.

Current safe researchers
A list of approved safe researchers who are eligible to access SHIP and Scottish Government datasets is available from here.  This page is password protected.

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