Partnering with UNSW for a Five Safes Workshop

In May, CADRE partner, UNSW hosted a workshop at their Kensington campus. The workshop provided participants with a better understanding of how the Five Safes framework can be applied in a variety of contexts. It also allowed attendees to understand how UNSW have implemented Five Safes into their research data management processes. UNSW also shared an overview of its E-Research Institutional Cloud Architecture (ERICA) platform, which manages big data for research. 

ERICA sits within the UNSW Centre for Big Data Research in Health. It is a cloud computing infrastructure. At any one time, several projects using sensitive data can be hosted within ERICA. It provides a secure environment to conduct data analysis as well as reporting. Before users can be on-boarded to the platform they must complete and pass an online training module. This module provides a comprehensive overview of what the roles and responsibilities are within ERICA as well as how the Five Safes are applied in this setting. Some workshop participants were already users or aware of the ERICA platform but for some, it provided a good introduction.   

The workshop ran for half a day. It was decided a full day may impact the number of people able to attend. It was hoped registrations would come from a variety of institutions as well as positions. In the end, there were 24 attendees registered from a total of six institutions. Roles varied from research support, and PhD student to data custodian. The diverse experience in the room provided an opportunity for those with little experience in working with sensitive data to hear from those who had. 

Although the content was primarily delivered for an audience who had little, to no knowledge of the Five Safes, there were activities included that provided those with more experience or knowledge to guide the conversations when needed. The size of the workshop allowed for engagement in small groups and for participants to hear different perspectives. Experiences were shared so that the group could reflect on where the Five Safes framework could sit within their institutions, departments, or teams.  

It was also an opportunity for CADRE and ERICA to promote the training that has been developed in conjunction with their respective platforms. This way more perspective learners can become aware of the training and are encouraged to complete it. Increasing the number of completions of the training allows for more feedback to improve it. 

Workshops can be resource intensive. However, if planned and promoted well, it can be a valuable engagement exercise. By structuring the workshop as a joint event, the attendees could learn from a variety of presenters as well as how the Five Safes is applied in different contexts. By partnering with UNSW, CADRE was able to present to an audience outside of traditional humanities or social science disciplines. Overall, the workshop was successful and can provide guidance on any improvements required for future workshops.  

Image credits: Learning + Collaboration Focal Foto cc by-nc 2.0