The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS) has been providing secure access to de-identified data for accredited researchers for over 15 years and is one of the largest trusted research environments in the UK. Around 6,000 accredited researchers have the potential to access the SRS. Of these, around 1,500 are actively working on research projects at any given time.
Rapid advances in technology have opened the door for developments in the way our users access data. The Integrated Data Service (IDS) will build on the foundations provided by the SRS, and will, in time, replace the current service.
As of summer 2023, any new SRS proposed projects, or extensions to existing projects will first be tested for their suitability for commencement in the IDS, where the data and tools are available to meet the requirements of that project. The transition of existing users, datasets and projects will begin in 2023, and will continue until all users have been transitioned to the new service. The closure date for the SRS will not be open ended. We will remain in contact with users about the progress on transition plans and will communicate an updated closure date as soon as possible.
We are exploring training and support requirements as part of the detailed transition planning, to understand how best we can support organisations on their transition to the IDS.Back to table of contents
Any new SRS proposed projects, or extensions to existing projects will first be tested for their suitability for commencement in the IDS, where the data and tools are available to meet the requirements of that project.Back to table of contents
The teams working on the transition from SRS to the IDS are working hard to ensure minimal disruption for users and stakeholders. There will be some changes required at an individual and organisational level in terms of how users can access the IDS in comparison to the SRS. We will work closely with users and their organisations to ensure that these changes can be implemented as smoothly as possible.Back to table of contents
Once IDS has been accredited as a data processor under the Digital Economy Act (DEA), all accredited researchers using the SRS will automatically be able to use the IDS.
Accreditation status is valid for five years and will remain active when you transition to the IDS. You will need to be re-accredited if you have reached the end of this period.Back to table of contents