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Updated 2020-09-24 by @michaelrchapman

CLIMB COVID Acceptable Use Policy

Use of the CLIMB-COVID system is bound by:

Depending on your role in the consortium, you will be able to contribute data and / or access data collected by COG-UK for analysis. You must comply with these policies at all times when carrying out your work for the consortium.

The dataset available to COG-UK is a unique data resource. There are no other data sets of a similar magnitude that link SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data to patient data anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, in terms of precedents in the UK, there are no other UK wide COVID-19 healthcare datasets like the one held in CLIMB-COVID. In summary, COG-UK has been able to assemble an unprecedented and rich dataset to allow research into SARS-CoV-2. All the data held in CLIMB-COVID is collected without consent by the Public Health Agencies under their statutory powers, this means we all have an important responsibility to treat access to this data both as privilege and responsibility. Our continued ability to do so now and in the future, depends on everyone using the data in CLIMB-COVID appropriately.

The key requirements are summarised below but it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the relevant policies. If in any doubt please read the documentation, speak to your site lead or email

Key requirements for use of CLIMB-COVID

Uploading data

Use of data

Type of data Aggregated results Sequence level with COG-UK ID
Public data only Yes Yes
Public data + Adm2 (County) Yes For public health response. Notify COG-UK data access inbox.
Consortium level data Yes No
Restricted data Subject to approval No

Table 1: Data that may be included in outputs exported from CLIMB-COVID

Publication of results

Use of CLIMB-COVID is monitored and failure to comply with these policies may lead to your access being withdrawn.12

Acceptable forms of data protection training

Acceptable forms of data protection training for accessing COG-UK data are:

  1. Your employer’s data protection or information governance training.
  2. NHS Information Governance Training - Data Security Awareness Level 1 for those with NHS contracts.
  3. MRC e-learning: Research, GDPR and confidentiality – what you really need to know.

You must provide evidence that you have completed one of these to to use CLIMB-COVID.

Appendix: Source of requirements in the COG-UK Consortium Agreement

  1. Clause 8.1
  2. Schedule 5: clause 11
  3. Schedule 9
  4. Schedule 5: clause 12/14 and Schedule 6: clause 2.3.1
  5. Schedule 6: clauses 2.2 and 2.3.3
  6. Schedule 6: clause 3.2
  7. Schedule 6: clause 2.3.2
  8. Schedule 6: clause 2.3.4
  9. Schedule 6: clause 2.3.8
  10. Schedule 6: clause 2.3.7
  11. Schedule 6: clause 3.2
  12. Schedule 6: clause 2.4 and 5.2

Published 2020-09-24. Updated 2020-09-24. Page maintainer @michaelrchapman.