Accredited Researcher Process

In order to access either NILS or ADR NI microdata the researcher and research team must hold accredited researcher status

All members of the research team must be an accredited researcher. To achieve accredited researcher status, the researcher must:

1a) Attend Safe Researcher Training and pass the related online test (dates and times in the link 'Accredited Researcher Process')

b) Complete the Accredited Researcher Application through ONSFull accredited researcher status under the Digital Economy Act 2017 is valid for five years. Provisional accredited researcher status is valid for one year

c) Obtain an AccessNI certificate (this is only necessary if the applicant plans on gaining access to the Secure Environment to conduct statistical analysis)

2) For researchers from outside the UK, a Criminal record Statement must be completed (click on the following link)

All necessary documentation, and dates and times of the Safe Researcher Training can be accessed in the below link:

For more information on the accreditation process follow the link to the ONS approved researcher page

The Secure Environment

Once the accreditation process is complete, and the project has been approved, the researcher can be granted access to the Secure Environment. This is a strictly controlled setting governed by policies, protocols and procedures to ensure data confidentiality. Researchers within the secure environment are supervised at all times by NISRA RSU staff.

A range of statistical software packages are available in the Secure Environment. 

To book into the Secure Environment contact the RSU at Please bear in mind that the Secure Environment will be closed until 1.15pm on the first Wednesday of every month for essential maintenance.

The following link contains information relating to the services provided by RSU staff in the Secure Environment: