Training Content Development

The CADRE team has developed a concept map for researcher training in Five Safes and is underway with developing introductory training as the basis to start accredited training in accord with the Data Availability and Transparency (DAT) Act 2020.  The concept map is based on a review of existing and relevant research ethics training in Australia and acts as a guide for the content development of Five Safes training.   

In two online workshops with experts in researcher training from the Australian Data Archive, UNSW ERICA, and the SOCEY group an overall understanding of existing ethics and Five Safes training was achieved and foundational and advanced research skills training offered by the higher education sector was reviewed. This group had the benefit of reviewing training already developed by one of CADRE’s partners (UNSW).  UNSW has training for their ERICA platform (a secure research environment).

The ERICA Five Safes research training provides a good overview for researchers wanting to access sensitive health data.  The training covers ethics, privacy, IT security as well as statistical disclosure control. These aspects of sensitive research data management are all important topics to ensure users (researchers) work safely within a secure environment. However, questions came up about whether or not these topics are adequately covered by institutions with ethics and research data management training.

The CADRE worked off the assumption that these research training ‘pre-requisites’ would be completed before commencing the CADRE Five Safes training. However, the review revealed that ethics and research data management training varied widely across institutions. It was hard to ascertain what mandatory training is undertaken by Higher Degree Research (HDR) students before they commence research projects.

Through the training content workshop discussions, it was decided by the group that ethics and research data management are key steps towards demonstrating a number of the ‘safes’ from the Five Safes. Also that it is important to provide relevant discipline-based case studies for the social scientists to understand the relevance to their research process (as outlined in the ‘Five Safes Training’ blog post).

The review of research ethics training as well as evaluation of various open-source (e.g. USQ Human Research Ethics Foundation and ANU Research Data Management) and private (e.g. Salinger Privacy Privacy Essentials for Researchers and Data Scientists and QCIF Working with Sensitive Data) and workshops, is helping the CADRE team to build the scaffold for the Five Safes training. The final piece in the Five Safes training puzzle is the requirements for accreditation that arise out of the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022. Although a discussion paper is available, the final guidelines for accreditation have not been released. The guidelines are tipped to be finalised by end of 2022 so in the meantime, the CADRE team is working on introductory content for the Five Safes training and piloting that training in sessions with volunteers in September.  

Image credit: viao keyboard Ginny cc-by sa/2.0