Training and Resources

MRC offers an online e-Learning course aimed at UK health and social care researchers. It consists of 10 modules on GDPR and confidentiality and takes around 3 hours to read through the materials. There is a further link on their website to answer the quiz questions and if you get above 70% then you pass and can download a copy of your certificate.

The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded partnership between the universities of Southampton, Manchester and Edinburgh. NCRM coordinate a programme of national training activities in social science research methods. They also offer a range of online modules, webinars and other resources for social scientists. Training courses cover a wide-range of topics from methodologies for qualitative research, designing questionnaires, to practical sessions on different statistical software packages. 

Have a very useful guide on Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) to ensure that your research outputs do not disclose any information about the individuals or organisations in your data set. Although the guide has been designed for Professionals working within Safe Settings to aid them in their routine SDC checks, it provides information which is very useful for researchers who are working within a Safe Setting environment. Their site also contains a useful page with several training resources for ensuring that your research outputs are Safe.

  • Safe Researcher Training

In order to work with sensitive data, especially health care records, you must be an accredited Safe Researcher. The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) runs a Safe Researcher course which has been accredited by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The course is a full day of lectures and group work, followed by an online test which you must pass in order to become accredited. Safe Researcher Accreditation lasts for 5 years. Have a look on the SCADR website for dates on upcoming courses. Similar training – Safe User of Research data Environments (SURE) training – is offered by ONS for researchers in England and Wales.

SCADR (run jointly with the Scottish Longitudinal Study Development and Support Unit) offer a four day introduction to using administrative data for health and social care research. The course is aimed at health or social care researchers who already have experience in working with either survey data or administrative data, but are interested in finding out more about working with multiple linked administrative data sets. Through a mixture of theoretical and practical sessions, the course seeks to equip participants with the skills to understand, access and prepare linked administrative data sets for analysis. For more information on the course content, dates and costs, check out the SCADR website here. SCADR also have a very useful Researcher Handbook on data linkage and administrative data research in Scotland. 

The UK Data Service also offer some useful online modules to help researchers develop skills in analysing different types of data. Specifically they cover data skills in survey data, longitudinal data and aggregate data. They also offer a range of resources for students including information on different types of data and a helpful guide on using survey data, especially written for students embarking on their dissertation. As well as these training, the UK Data Service itself offers a host of information on the different survey datasets that are available in the UK and how one might go about accessing and using them.