Accessing data for research

Administrative data is legally-protected data. Access to it is governed by the Digital Economy Act 2017. 

This slide deck from the UK Statistics Authority sets out the background to this legislation, and why it is important for researchers wishing to access administrative data.

You can also watch this video, which provides additional commentary from the UK Statistics Authority.

All DEA accredited researchers and projects are added to a public register.  This can be a useful resource for researchers to find out what projects have been done under the DEA and who is working on them.

Training to become an accredited researcher

In order to access data in ADR UK’s network of trusted research environments, you need to be an accredited researcher under the Digital Economy Act 2017. To become accredited, you can attend a half-day online course: Safe Researcher Training. This is offered by:

This training will: 

  • introduce a framework for data access (the Five Safes) 
  • describe and help you manage the risks involved 
  • explain the theory behind statistical disclosure control and give examples of rules you may need to follow to get data released. 

By the end of the course, you should understand the factors that affect your data access, the importance of attitudes and engagement, specific statistical issues, and how to work efficiently and effectively. 

For researchers who wish to develop their skills, additional training from SCADR is available: Introduction to Data Science for Administrative Data Research course.