New Data Requests and Amendments

Population Data BC provides support for the preparation of new data access and amendment requests to the Ministry of Health, whose decisions are guided by the Ministry’s policy on Access to Health Data for Research, here. The initial step in requesting data access for research is to contact Population Data BC here.

The Process

1. Complete the Data Access Request

The research team will work with Population Data BC staff to assemble the required supporting documents and complete the application for data access.

2. Data Access Request Submission and Review

Population Data BC, on behalf of the researcher, will submit the application for data access to the Ministry for review.

Ministry staff will complete a criteria check within two weeks of receiving a new request. This check is a preliminary assessment of any major issues, including completeness and accuracy. During the check, the application is assigned a project number, which will be relayed to Population Data BC.

Once the submission is considered complete, the Chief Data Steward or Assistant Chief Data Steward may ask additional questions via Population Data BC, or decide to approve or reject the application for data access.

3. Receive Data Steward Decision and Notification

Once a decision has been made, the Ministry will send notification of the outcome to Population Data BC, who will relay it to the researcher and all relevant data stewards.

4. Data Preparation and Provisioning

Once an application for data access is approved, the following steps will occur:

  1. A Research Agreement must be signed
  2. Population Data BC will liaise with all relevant data stewards to confirm linkage and provisioning details
  3. Data access will be provided to the authorized users on the research team according to the specifications outlined in the Data Access Request and the Research Agreement

5. Request Amendments to Data Access Requests (if applicable)

For approved applications,  the research team may decide to seek an amendment to the project. Amendments may be requested to extend the data access period, to add a graduate student, to add years of data, and/or additional data fields or files.

For all amendments, Population Data BC will assist researchers with the application process. Applications for amendments are processed in the same manner as new requests for data access, and involve the same data stewards.

6. Submit Research Outputs to PopData BC

Prior to release, all research findings intended for public dissemination must be submitted to Population Data BC to facilitate a mandatory Ministry of Health pre-publication review. The Ministry will respond with the publication approval or questions/concerns to be resolved within 45 business days of receiving the publication for review.

7. Ensure Project Closure Compliance

Upon completion of the research, Population Data BC will work with researchers to ensure data destruction compliance, and ensure that the necessary project closure documents are completed and submitted to the Ministry.

Further Information

PharmaNet Data Access Requests

Academic researchers may request access to PharmaNet data for research purposes. Learn more about the application process here.

Requests to Contact B.C. Residents

If you would like to contact B.C. residents as part of your research study, learn more about the process and how you can apply for permission here.

Student Data Access Requests

Data access for the purpose of student research falls within the scope of applications for academic research. Guidance on applications for student data access is available here.