The ability to critically appraise published research is a key skill for anyone involved in using and/or undertaking research. Within this course we discuss the importance of defining a meaningful research question and the key research factors implicated in answering a research question in an efficient and valid way. The following topics are discussed and are of use when designing your own research study and/or evaluating existing published material:Defining a research questionObservational and experimental study designsSampling and randomisationBias and confoundingResearch protocols, checklists and recordsCompeting study designsDisplays and analysis of dataCommon pitfalls in analysisReporting of resultsValidity of the results with respect to the research questionDelegates are given the opportunity to examine sample research design and appraisal checklists and to apply the skills gained throughout the course via practical appraisal activities.