International Secure Data Facility Professionals Network (ISDFPN)

About the Network

The International Secure Data Facility Professionals Network (ISDFPN) is a Forum to share expertise, experience, and collaborate on new ideas relating to Secure Data Facilities in national and international contexts.

The Network is open to different disciplines including: social sciences, health and humanities. ISDFPN is unique in discussing issues not only in relation to quantitative secure data but also options for making qualitative secure data available in the future.

As the secure data landscape is fast-changing and continuously evolving, this Network provides a vital international platform to bring together Secure Data Facility professionals to share knowledge and collaborate on common challenges, specific and newly emerging issues and challenges. Internationally, Secure Data Facilities are at different stages in their development, which makes our Network a great Forum for staff to learn from each other.

ISDFPN was set up in 2022, and currently has over 30 individual members, from over 20 organisations across 9 countries.


The International Secure Data Facility Professionals Network (ISDFPN) was set up as part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) project, which ran from January 2019 until April 2022. The UK Data Service has been leading the SSHOC deliverable to setup and establish this Network as a member of WP5 (‘Innovations in Data Access’), Task 5.4 ‘Remote Access to Sensitive Data’. For further information, please see the report.

After the end of the SSHOC project, the Network was taken forward in joint collaboration between the UK Data Service and GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.


Currently, ISDFPN is free to join and available to those who are involved in Safe Data Facilities around the world. If you would like to join the Network, offer a talk or request more information regarding the Network, please email


Meetings are held bi-annually, and, for reasons of inclusivity, online. There are two presentations at each meeting exploring and discussing issues related to quantitative and qualitative secure data.

Meeting Date Presentation 1 Presentation 2
1 30.03.2022 International Secure Data Facility Professionals Network (ISDFPN) Mind the Skills Gap: Creating Capacity for Data Access. SDAP: Competency Framework
2 07.09.2022 Certifying reproducibility with confidential data: first results from the French cascad/Casd cooperation Data Sharing with RDC Qualiservice
3 08.03.2023 Enabling Access to Confidential Qualitative Data through Data Enclaves Building a Safe Researcher Accreditation Scheme
4 06.09.2023 Researcher Passport: A digital user credential for accessing restricted data Introducing the SafePoints
5 17.04.2024 SANE: an off-the-shelve, data holder-agnostic TRE Output Disclosure Control for Qualitative Data in Trusted Research Environments: Current State and Next Steps
6 04.09.2024 IRISS Enabling secure sharing of confidential qualitative data

UK Data Service contribution to ISDFPN

The Network is a joint collaboration between the UK Data Service (Beate Lichtwardt) and GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (Deborah Wiltshire).

In addition to jointly chairing the Network, the UK Data Service has been taking responsibility for the following processes and functions:

  • day to day management and administration
  • governance (informal)
  • strategic development and planning in collaboration with our co-chair and Steering Group
  • managing the membership
  • communications
  • operations and resourcing.