There are various training courses available to support administrative data research, some of which are essential in order to access data and others which build relevant skills.

Required training in order to access data

Researchers are likely to need to complete data protection/information governance training which will remain valid for a set period of time. The specific course may be dictated by the relevant data provider.   

  • Safe Researcher Training (ONS-SRT) is an online course that is run monthly and provides the skills and information required to work with sensitive data.  To find out when the date of the next course is please contact us by emailing

Successful completion of this course enables you to apply to become an ‘Accredited Researcher’ under the Digital Economy Act 2017 and forms part of the process to access data from ONS. Completion of the SRT course is also required to access much of the data in Scotland’s National Safe Haven. 

  • Other data providers accept online courses such as those provided by the Medical Research Council. This includes modules that provide a good overview of the issues around research, GDPR and confidentiality.

Skills training

  • An introduction to data science for administrative data research -  this course will now run **online** in May 2021, please contact us by emailing for further details. 
  • A free online modular course is offered by Centric and provides a good overview of best research practice in the use of administrative data.
  • Other teams run courses which may be useful, such as the Scottish Longitudinal Studies team, who run courses on specific elements such as survival analysis, and an introduction to the Scottish Longitudinal Study resource.
  • The Understanding Inequalities Centre runs an online course Introduction to Data Visualisation.
  • For those new to quantitative research, most universities run in-depth introductions for staff and students to statistical packages like SPSS, R and Stata.

Feedback welcome

We would welcome feedback. Have you found any useful courses that we should link to and promote?

Are there skills where you need training but have not found suitable provision? Please contact us by emailing with your thoughts.