Access to the Secure Lab

How to apply for access to Secure Access (Controlled) data at the UK Data Service.

Controlled data are only available in the Secure Lab to researchers who are able to fulfil the following requirements:

  1. The purpose of the use of the data for your project must provide a public benefit/serve the public good
  2. You must have attended Safe Researcher Training, and be an Accredited Researcher (AR). This status is currently administered by the ONS through their Research Accreditation Service (RAS). Register for an account through the RAS registration system or if you already have one, login to your RAS account. You must have an undergraduate degree (or higher) including a significant proportion of maths or statistics, or be able to demonstrate at least 3 years quantitative research experience 
  3. If you are a postgraduate student you can request access but will need to apply jointly with your supervisor(s). Undergraduates can apply but should be highly experienced data analysts
  4. You must check any specific access restrictions for each study in our Data Catalogue that you wish to use, found in the 'Access' tab
  5. You must only access data from within the UK (SN 6676 can be accessed by German researchers, subject to meeting other conditions)

You can read about our security philosophy and software available at: Secure Lab: How it works and watch our short 5 Safes animation explaining the process.

Apply for access
Complete user agreement
Attend training course

Train to become an Accredited Researcher

Before users can access any Controlled data in the Secure Lab they must have successfully completed the Safe Researcher Training (SRT) course. The UK Data Service holds regular training sessions in London and Colchester, and other Accredited Processors also provide training. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, from March 2020 face-to-face sessions have been temporarily suspended, and replaced by online training. See our COVID-19 information. Users with applications approved or pending should sign up for a course.

SRT covers:

  • Data security and personal responsibility, including legal background, security model, breaches and penalties
  • Statistical Disclosure Control - how to make statistical outputs safe and what principles are used
  • Using the Secure Lab* - how to use the interface and how to prepare and request data imports and suitable statistical outputs

*If you are trained by a different service this 'service specific' component will differ.

After attending the training course, and passing the associated test, users will be expected to apply to become an Accredited Researcher (AR).

Upcoming 2020 SRT courses:

Secure Lab Account setup

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We expect to run as normal a service as possible during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Please visit our COVID-19 page for the latest information.