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How to access : What you will need


The skills you will need and steps you should follow to become an accredited researcher.

Become an accredited researcher

Being accredited means that you can work with secure data in a safe setting. It allows you to carry out analysis and produce outputs in a secure research environment. This is also known as a Trusted Research Environment (TRE).

There are two types of researcher accreditation, full and provisional.

You can apply through the Research Accreditation Service (RAS) (opens in a new tab) 

Currently we estimate that the researcher accreditation process may take three to five weeks.

Full accredited researcher

To become fully accredited (for five years), you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • be badged in a government analytical profession
  • have a relevant undergraduate degree (or higher), including a significant proportion of maths or statistics
  • have at least three years of quantitative research experience

Provisional accredited researcher

If you do not meet the requirements to be fully accredited, you can become a provisional researcher (for three years).

You will need a fully accredited researcher from your organisation to supervise your project(s).

Your supervisor must agree that they:

  • work for the same organisation as you
  • will work on all your research projects
  • will direct and take responsibility for work undertaken by you when working on research projects
  • will be held responsible if you breach your accredited researcher access declaration

Your chosen supervisor must accept for your application to be successful, so we recommend discussing their responsibilities with them before applying. They will also need to be registered with the Integrated Data Service (IDS) Hub.

Additional requirements

To apply for either full or provisional researcher accreditation, you must agree to Part 2 of the Research Code of Practice and Accreditation Criteria (opens in a new tab) 

By doing so you are committing to protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of data.

It is also a Digital Economy Act (DEA) 2017 requirement to publish your details in the UK Statistics Authority Public Register (opens in a new tab) 

If you want to be excluded from the public register, you must provide a reason to the UK Statistics Authority. This will delay your accreditation.

If you have any questions about the application process, email (opens in a new tab) 

Training and assessment requirements

To apply for either full or provisional researcher accreditation, you must:

  • complete a recognised Safe Researcher Training (SRT) course
  • pass an assessment after completing that training course
  • pass an ID check

The training course will:

  • cover data security and personal responsibility, including legal and procedural breaches and penalties
  • introduce a framework for data access (the Five Safes)
  • explain the theory behind Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC), how to make outputs safe for release and the principles used

You can complete a free training course and assessment with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) or arrange your own with another provider.

Training with the ONS

You can book a place on the ONS’s free training course and assessment by registering for an account with the Research Accreditation Service (RAS) (opens in a new tab) 

We will automatically update your record to show you have completed your assessment.

If you completed your assessment and your record has not updated, email evidence of your assessment to (opens in a new tab) 

Training with another provider

If you have arranged your own training and assessment with another provider, we will need evidence of:

  • the provider you used
  • the date you completed training
  • the date you passed your assessment
  • any supporting documentation

You can send this to us by email at (opens in a new tab) 

View our list of Trusted Research Environment (TRE) training and assessment providers.

Register with the Research Accreditation Service (RAS)

To become an accredited researcher, you must complete an application on the Research Accreditation Service (RAS) website (opens in a new tab) 

On the login page, select “Don’t have an account? Register here” and you will be able to create an account. Enter your:

  • organisation
  • work address
  • name
  • date of birth
  • email address
  • phone number

Continue to the summary page and agree to the terms and conditions.

Select “Create account”. Your account will be created but you will be logged out.

You will receive an email from with a link to verify your email address and activate your account.

Renew or upgrade your accreditation

When your researcher accreditation expires, you can:

  • renew full researcher accreditation for five years
  • renew provisional researcher accreditation for three years
  • upgrade from provisional to full researcher accreditation, if you meet the full researcher requirements

If you do not renew, you will lose your accredited researcher status. This means your access to all accredited project areas will be removed and your data will be deleted.

We will send you reminders to renew from 60 days before your accreditation expiry date.

Assessment and ID check

To either renew or upgrade your researcher accreditation, you must first:

  • retake and pass the Safe Researcher Assessment (we will send you a link in your renewal reminder email)
  • pass an ID check

You can also repeat your Safe Researcher Training (SRT), but this is optional. To book a place on a course view the list of training providers.

If you completed your assessment and your record has not updated, email evidence of your assessment to (opens in a new tab) 

Renewing your accreditation

We will automatically update your record and renew your full or provisional accreditation once you have passed your assessment and ID check.

Upgrading your accreditation

You can upgrade from provisional to full researcher accreditation, if you meet the full researcher requirements.

Once you have passed your assessment and ID check, upgrade by signing in to the Research Accreditation Service (RAS) (opens in a new tab) 

We will then update your record to show your upgraded accreditation.

Skills needed to work on an Integrated Data Service (IDS) project

To work with data in the Integrated Data Service (IDS) you will need to use open-source programming languages.

IDS uses BigQuery to run Structured Query Language (SQL) and Vertex AI Notebooks that run Python and R. These notebooks are based on open-source Jupyter notebooks.

You should be comfortable with using these to:

  • import and export data
  • manipulate data
  • perform analysis using code
  • create basic data visualisations

If you are new to using Python and R, the following resources are available:

Further guidance on modelling techniques is available in the Government Analysis Function quality assurance for coding in analysis or research (QACAR) guidance (opens in a new tab) 

The service also uses GitHub for version control and to enable better collaboration.

As the IDS evolves and responds to the needs of our users, we may introduce new tools to help analysts and researchers work with their data efficiently.

Email the IDS Customer Support team for more information at (opens in a new tab)