Safe Data Access Professionals (SDAP) Network
About the project
The Safe Data Access Professionals (SDAP) network was established in 2011, and has grown significantly alongside a growth in the number of Trusted Research Environments (TREs).
SDAP currently has over 60 members, from over 20 organisations and provides a forum that enables staff working in these facilities to share experiences and good practice about how to set-up, manage, and evolve these settings.
Currently, the SDAP network is free to join and available to all who are involved in the day-to-day management or administration of a TRE.
Regular meetings and events are staged often involving guest speakers and exploring a range of topics that includes, but is not limited to:
- the use of secure technology
- information security standards
- auditing and assurance practices
- risk-management of profiles, etc.
- confidential sources of data for analysis/research purposes
- managing analysts and researchers
- statistical disclosure control.
New members have found the group to be an invaluable resource for finding out about how existing facilities have been established, which security standards are applied and the future steps they may consider taking to evolve their secure setting.
Guides and Resources, including support with Training Safe Data Researchers:
Since 2011 SDAP has produced the following resources:
Statistical Disclosure Control Handbook, in both English and Spanish:
Statistical Disclosure Control Handbook by Emily Griffiths (University of Manchester), Carlotta Greci (then at The Health Foundation), Yannis Kotrosis (then at Cancer Research UK), Simon Parker (then at Cancer Research UK), James Scott (UK Data Archive, University of Essex), Richard Welpton (then at The Health Foundation), Arne Wolters (The Health Foundation), and Christine Woods (then at UK Data Archive, University of Essex).
Manual de Control Divulgación Estadística de Resultados (Spanish version). Translated by Natalie Volkow Fernández (National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico).
The Safe Data Access Professionals (SDAP) Network Competency Framework by Carlotta Greci (then at The Health Foundation), Richard Welpton (then at Cancer Research UK), Christine Woods (then at UK Data Archive, University of Essex).
Guide to Installing and Using R in a Secure Data Environment by Carlotti Greci (then at The Health Foundation) and Richard Welpton (then at Cancer Research UK).
There are also numerous data awareness training materials devised on behalf of the SDAP network by members and teams then working at – Cancer Research UK, and The Health Foundation (unless otherwise stated). These members are: Richard Welpton (then at Cancer Research UK but now at ESRC), Yannis Kotrotsios (then at Cancer Research UK but now at The Health Foundation) and Simon Parker (then at The Health Foundation, but now at DFKZ, Germany). Each set of training slides has an accompanying assessment document to support facilitation, produced by Yannis Kotrotsios (then at Cancer Research UK but now at The Health Foundation).
Topics covered include:
- the Five Safes
- data awareness and legal introduction
- introduction to safe projects and safe people
- introduction to safe outputs
- frequency tables
- descriptive statistics
- group disclosure
- dominance rule
And sign-posting to other resources that are accepted as a sector-wide standard, in this instance the Safe Researcher Training course devised by Professor Felix Ritchie (University of West of England):
These guides, resources and training materials are all available for free through the SDAP network website.
UK Data Service contribution to running the SDAP network
Our contribution has been to introduce a fresh and dynamic approach, identifying the need for ongoing strategic development and 360 degree business planning and taking responsibility for the following processes and functions:
- day to day management, development and administration
- governance (formal and informal)
- strategic development and 360 degree business planning
- managing the membership work programme
- operations and resourcing.