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Research Ethics Review Boards

 

All human research conducted by members of Island Health or involving Island Health facilities, patients, residents, clients, staff, physicians, current data holdings or other resources, requires ethical approval as part of the Institutional Approval process.  

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 operational and ethical approval.

There are two Research Ethics Boards (REBs) providing review services for Island Health in accordance with the current Canadian Tri-Council Policy on the Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2), US government regulations, and the International Conference on Harmonization: Good Clinical Practice (GCP).

Clinical Research Ethics Board

The Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) reviews research that involves surgery, clinical interventions, and the analysis of clinical data. The CREB will also review clinical studies involving registries and/or the linkage of databases. This does not include retrospective chart reivews. 

Clinical interventions are defined as the administration or testing of drugs, medical devices, medical imaging or diagnostic techniques, and the taking of blood or other specimens.

New research applications for CREB consideration will generally require a full board meeting. Please refer to the Clinical REB Meeting Schedule for dates and deadlines for submission.

All electronic submissions are deemed received when they have been acknowledged by the Research Ethics and Compliance Office as fully complete and ready for review.

Health Research Ethics Board

The Health Research Ethics Board (HREB), reviews research that is predominantly behavioural or social sciences related. Studies may involve the study of patients or healthcare providers and retrospective chart reviews. Studies also may involve interviews, focus groups, observations, the administration of questionnaires or tests, or retrospective chart review (where no clinical interventions are performed as part of the study). However, they do not include performing clinical interventions. Clinical interventions are defined as the administration or testing of drugs, medical devices, medical imaging or diagnostic techniques, and the taking of blood or other specimens.

Minimal risk studies submitted to the HREB are sent for review as they are received. All electronic submissions are deemed received when they have been acknowledged by the Research Ethics and Compliance office as fully complete and ready for review.  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. Researchers will be contacted if this is necessary.

Collaborative or Multi-Institutional Studies

Studies that will be implemented across multiple sites in BC are eligible for harmonized ethics review. More information regarding the harmonized review process can be found at http://www.bcethics.ca/.

If you think your study could be harmonized, please start the process by completing this form: Harmonized Ethics Coversheet (.doc) and submit by email to researchethics@viha.ca.  We will contact you to let you know how best to proceed.