Approval to Use SILC

How do researchers gain approval to use the SILC services for their data linkage research?

An individual wishing to undertake a data linkage project using one of our partner bodies must demonstrate to eDRIS that they are an ‘approved researcher’. This is done through appropriate training which addresses the Guiding Principles for Data Linkage, the legal and ethical concepts governing data linkage, Safe Projects, Safe Data, Safe Outputs and other issues surrounding data linkage, supporting the researcher when considering whether:

  • the proposed linkage is in the public interest
  • that adequate governance is in place to ensure responsible decisions are made as to whether a project is supported in a manner that is transparent to the public
  • that privacy is considered when linking data
  • that data is secure and can only be accessed under controlled conditions by qualified personnel
  • that there are consequences or sanctions in place if data are not used responsibly.

Organisations are responsible for having qualified individuals in post to ensure that the research being carried out is legal, ethical, secure and efficient.

Every organisation involved in collecting administrative and survey data is classified as a ‘data controller’ and is bound by the Data Protection Act; it is their duty to keep data safe.