Steps 3-8: Approvals and Security

3: Submit to NILS Research Approvals Group

Completed applications are submitted to the NILS Research Approvals Group (NILS RAG). The NILS RAG meet every two months to consider applications for approval. They assess whether projects should be approved and may provide advice on how projects could be improved or stipulate changes to be made: please refer to the NILS RAG Applications Criteria.

The NILS RAG includes representatives from the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency (HSC R&D Division),  Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation,  Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, NISRA and academia.

Researchers have the right to appeal any decisions in relation to their application. All decisions taken in relation to unsuccessful applications will be fully documented.


Step 4: Complete a NILS Licence Agreement

If a NILS/NIMS project is approved, the RSU Policies document (containing the RSU Security Policy, RSU Disclosure Control Policy, RSU Licence Agreement and Census Confidentiality Undertaking) must be read and the RSU Project Agreement must be signed by the Chief Investigator and all other research applicants. 


Step 5: Dataset Creation

The NILS-RSU will then generate a project specific dataset based on the details supplied in the application form.  This will only be made available to project team members named on the application form and who have signed the licence agreements. Agreed external data can also be linked at this point.


Step 6: Obtain Approved Researcher Status

Researchers must attain Approved Researcher status by completing the Application for Accreditation as an Approved Researcher form. This form asks for details of experience and professionalism and is used by senior NISRA staff to approve the researcher as a ‘fit and proper’ person.

 An Institutional Signatory is also be required from a representative(s) of the organisation(s) with ultimate responsibility for research team members.  Further details on the Approved Researcher application process can be found in the Researcher Accreditation Section of the website.


Step 7: Complete Safe Researcher Training

All researchers named on a project, who wish to access data within the secure environment, must complete Safe Researcher Training (SRT).  Further details on training can be found in the Researcher Accreditation Section of the website.


Step 8: Obtain Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) Clearance

All researchers who wish to access data within the secure environment are also required to have Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance.  To be granted BPSS clearance, researchers must supply RSU with a valid AccessNI Disclosure Certificate.  Further information on the application process can be found in the Researcher Accreditation Section of the website.


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