The research projects must be approved by the independent Approvals Panel, who evaluate each project against these five criteria:
- Is the project feasible?
- Are there any relevant privacy implications?
- Has the project been through a formal ethical review?
- Is there potential public benefit?
- Is there demonstrable scientific merit?
The project also has to pass ethical review, either by the academic institution the researchers are affiliated with, or by the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee (NSDEC).
If projects would be better served using data that are available elsewhere, such as the UK Data Service or the Farr Institute, researchers will be referred to that organisation.