Information Services Division


Information Governance Advisory Service

This service provides expert advice and support to researchers and support staff who handle sensitive data. Advice can be provided at all stages of the research lifecycle from inception, through grant & ethics approval, to the actual research and retention. We have expertise in completing the Information Governance Toolkit and other assessment tools and can guide a study through the application process through to completion. We also provide a pathway to other services that support the handling of sensitive data, including IG training and the IDHS technical environment.

The aims of this service are:

  • To enable researchers to be confident in the knowledge that they are using appropriate measures to work with sensitive data
  • To handle much of the burden of putting that assurance in place
  • To provide clear guidance and suitable tools to enable this

How to get help

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution, so we typically arrange an initial meeting to assess the best way forward. At the end of this meeting, you will have a clear understanding of the work required and likely timescales. If you have a question or need further information, contact us at: infogov@ucl.ac.uk

The Information Governance Toolkit

We can support you in making a successful IG Toolkit submission. In very broad terms, the structure of the process is as follows:

  • Initial meeting to explain the process and the tools used to collate study-related information and outline a set of actions for the PI (we supply templates)
  • We set up an IG Toolkit account, called an ODS code while the researcher collates the study related information
  • We enter the relevant information from the tools into the IG Toolkit
  • Second meeting, where we confirm and clarify each element in the IG Toolkit with the researcher
  • If the data is not part of a Section 251 exemption, we undertake a confidentiality audit
  • We submit the IG Toolkit evidence
  • We receive confirmation from the HSCIC

This is a very high-level overview and covers the basic steps. However, the submissions to date have been completed in around one month from start to finish.

Please note that while we make every effort to support researchers, the Information Asset Owner (usually the PI) remains responsible for ensuring that all recommendations are acted upon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Information Governance FAQs

Service definition

For a full definition of this service, please see the Information Governance Advisory Service Definition (PDF).