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News : Feedback from Integrated Data Service (IDS) users informs project accreditation process

A close up of a man's hand holding a pen over a notebook while he works on his laptop with his other hand

Bringing projects into the Integrated Data Service (IDS) is central to the success of the platform. The process for project accreditation needs to be secure, transparent, and meet Digital Economy Act requirements (opens in a new tab) ; but importantly meet user needs. As part of the accreditation process it means that before data can be shared for research purposes, it must be processed by an accredited processor so that the data are "de-identified".

Earlier in 2023, there was a performance review of the project accreditation process used for another one of the Office for National Statistics (ONS)’s Trusted Research Environments, the Secure Research Service (opens in a new tab) 

Following this, the Research Accreditation Panel (RAP) approved that the ONS pilot a new IDS project accreditation application form for use in the Researcher Accreditation Service (RAS) system.

This new form improves the user experience in some of the following ways:

  • where possible, changing free-text fields to checkboxes and picklists
  • before submission it provides validation to minimise data entry mistakes
  • sending automated emails to users at important milestones in the application process

Valuable user feedback was gathered throughout the second half of 2023. We recognise that collating further opinions from data owners, researchers, and analysts will be needed to ensure that the new form will meets everyone’s needs.

To allow for this, the RAP has approved an extension to the pilot for a further six months.

We would like to thank everyone who has already shared their experience with the project accreditation process, and to those who intend to do so in the future. This feedback will positively influence the quality of information that comes out of the IDS and decisions being made that will affect UK citizens.

If you would like to help, or know someone in your team who might, email IDS.project.applications@ons.gov.uk (opens in a new tab)