CENTRIC is a new administrative data online training course launched in September 2020 by Cardiff University that specifically addresses commonly identified training needs of researchers working with administrative data. Aimed at researchers based in the UK, CENTRIC training is completely free of charge.

The principal training needs for UK researchers that were identified during developmental work span five main areas: communication; timelines; changes & amendments; future-proofing applications; and, the availability of training and support.

To address these needs, the research team designed and developed 6 training modules for CENTRIC:

  1. Introduction to administrative data
  2. Administrative data in the study lifecycle
  3. Safeguarding public data – models of data access and identifiability
  4. Key regulatory considerations
  5. The application and approvals
  6. Working with the public

Using a mix of methods, the team developed the training curriculum with input from researchers, the public and data providers. An online survey captured researcher training needs, workshops with the public enabled co-production of the public input and engagement module, and focus groups with four large UK data providers provided content, context and recommendations to support researchers in working with administrative data.

Professor Mike Robling, who led the project explained that, “Researchers come to use routine data at different stages of their career and from a wide variety of backgrounds, and their training needs may vary. We developed the CENTRIC training using a learner-informed strategy and ensured we also spoke to key data providers to benefit from their collective experience in supporting access to routine data.”

“CENTRIC adds to existing high quality information governance training by mapping out key stages on the routine data study lifecycle and addressing the main themes that researchers and data providers identified where more help could make a difference. We are particularly grateful to the Information Commissioner’s Office for funding this work.”

The team wish to extend their gratitude to the researchers, data providers and members of the public who took part in the study, including those who piloted the initial survey and the pre-launch course.

For more information about CENTRIC training, or to enrol please visit https://centrictraining.org/

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Dr Fiona Lugg-Widger, Research Fellow – Routine Data, Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University

Lugg-Widger, F. V., Munnery, K., Townson, J., Trubey, R. and Robling, M. (2022) “Identifying researcher learning needs to develop online training for UK researchers working with administrative data: CENTRIC training”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 7(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v7i1.1712.