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How to access : What you will need

Overview

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

What accreditation means

To access data in the Integrated Data Service (IDS), you must be 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).

Become an accredited researcher

To become an accredited researcher, you must have either:

  • an undergraduate degree, including a significant proportion of maths or statistics
  • at least three years quantitative research experience
You must also:

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

As part of your application you will need to complete our safe researcher training and pass a final assessment. You will then receive an email from the RAS team confirming your accredited researcher status.

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

It is 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 have any questions about the application process, email IDS.customer.support@ons.gov.uk (opens in a new tab) 

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 noreply@rasmail.ons.gov.uk with a link to verify your email address and activate your account.

Skills you will need

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 IDS.customer.support@ons.gov.uk (opens in a new tab)