Ethics Application



Are you seeking ethics approval across multiple sites?

BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI) has implemented a model for minimal risk studies.  Please visit BCEthics.ca for more information

*Minimal risk: research in which the probability and magnitude of possible harms as a result of participation is no greater than those encountered by participants in other aspects of everyday life related to the research


All human research that is conducted by  members of Island Health or that involves Island Health facilities, patients, residents, clients, staff, physicians, current data holdings or other resources, requires research and ethical approval before it begins in accordance with Island Health's Research Ethics Review PolicyHuman research involving human participants, remains, tissues, biological fluids, embryos, fetuses and other biological materials including human DNA, RNA or DNA and RNA fragments is subject to research and ethical approval. Island Health requires ethical approval to ensure all human research complies with ethical principles and standards.

Research Ethics review is a separate process from Operational review.

These processes may be conducted concurrently.


In order to conduct research at Island Health, approval must be obtained from:

  1. all department(s) at Island Health that are involved in the support or conduct of the research project (OPERATIONAL APPROVAL); AND

These two elements ensure that the institution of Island Health has approved the research to be conducted at Island Health.

All research conducted at Island Health must include in their team at least one of the researchers/research advisors as a employee/physician or affiliated with privileges at Island Health. This does not necessarily have to be the Qualified/Principal Investigator, but that person will be required to sign the Operational Review form as a sub/co investigator or liaison. Any questions regarding this requirement may be directed to Terri Fleming, Manager, Research Compliance and Ethics at terri.fleming@viha.ca.

Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB)    

Studies should be submitted to the CREB if they involve a clinical intervention as part of the study, including clinical trial applications evaluating drugs, devices and natural health products.  For example, if a study involves administering medication or a medical device, providing alternate medical treatment that is not standard of care, etc.

The CREB Membership List is updated as members join or retire. If you or your office would like a copy of any of our previous lists, please contact our office at 250-370-8620.

Health Research Ethics Board (HREB)

Studies that do not involve clinical interventions, and meet the TCPS 2 definition of minimal risk should be submitted to the HREB.

Minimal risk studies submitted to the HREB are sent for review as they are received. No meeting dates or deadlines apply.

HREB studies that require full-board review are reviewed at the next scheduled HREB meeting or by special arrangement of an ad hoc meeting outside of the regular schedule. You will be contacted if this is necessary.

Joint UVic-Island Health Studies

Studies that are below minimal risk and involve UVic faculty, staff or students who wish to conduct research within Island Health should be submitted to Island Health using as part of the harmonized review model. 

Please use the HREB Application and submit to Island Health as directed on the form. 

More information regarding the harmonized review model for minimal risk studies can be found at www.bcethics.ca.  If you have any questions regarding the changes to the process, please do not hesitate to contact us at researchethics@viha.ca

REMEMBER:  If the study inolves resources at Island Health, operational review and approval is also required.  Please refer to the FAQ or Operational Review page for more information.

Contact Information

Research Ethics
Room 304, Kenning Wing - Memorial Pavilion
Royal Jubilee Hospital
1952 Bay Street
Victoria, BC V8R 1J8
Fax: 250-519-1878

General Inquiries
Joy (Joey) Pearson, Research Ethics Administrator
250-519-7700 x 12248

Health Research Inquiries
Dawn Pollon, Research Ethics Coordinator

Clinical Research Inquiries
Karen Medler, Research Ethics Coordinator
250-370-8111 x 12415

Operational Review Inquiries
Leah Syme, Research Administrative Coordinator

Terri Fleming, Manager Research Compliance and Ethics
250-519-7700 ext 13971