HRCS Training

What is HRCS training?

While the HRCS is designed to be an easy-to-use classification system, the subject matter for health research is sufficiently diverse that novice coders may struggle when first starting out applying HRCS coding. This website is designed, wherever possible, to guide a new coder on the best methods to use and to identify common areas for confusion.

To ensure that the HRCS is applied appropriately, we recommend those using HRCS coding on a regular basis become formally trained. These training sessions are largely organised through the Health Research Analysis Forum (HRAF), which monitors the HRCS on behalf of the UKCRC.

The HRAF endeavours to run regular training sessions in the use and application of HRCS coding, but this is dependent on demand and availability of a limited number of experienced trainers.

Why attend HRCS training?

The handbook and this website contain far more guidance than can be adequately covered in a training session. However most new coders find the basic principles difficult to grasp; there are nuances to any classification system that may not be apparent from simply reading the guidelines.

Attending the training sessions allows us to convey the ‘essence’ of coding, the main coding approaches used to reliably apply coding and identifies some of the more difficult aspects of coding or common mistakes made by inexperienced coders. We also explain more about the background to the system, it’s uses in the UK and the potential for future use on a global scale. Furthermore the training also includes an interactive sample abstract coding element, allowing coders to apply their newly learnt skills on real abstracts, with guidance from the trainers.

Training Resources

Those that attend the training sessions are provided with handouts from the main training presentation, the core HRCS handbook, and some example abstracts to work through during this session.

Universal resources for training sessions will be available on the HRCS website in due course. It is our intention that this forms a central repository for training materials so that experienced coders can perform training themselves to new or inexperienced coders in a uniform fashion.

Those who have already attended can find resources from the latest training sessions here. These include:

Main Presentation (Slideset) - this is normally issued as a paper handout to trainees and contains the background of UKCRC/HRCS and the main 'Approach to Coding' training slides.

Example Abstract (Slideset) - these include the weblinks to the specific guidance topics discussed.

Example Abstract (Notes) - to help resolve further queries and 'show your working' of how to reach the most appropriate codes required.

The main HRCS Handbook and Common Mistakes documents can be found on the Download HRCS page.

Please remember the abstract notes contain the 'answers' to the Example Abstract exercise. We recommend you keep these for your own reference, but avoid wider distribution. We strongly recommend new coders should be formally trained rather than learning as they go from training resources!