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Research Ethics Review Boards

NOTICE:  Island Health Research Ethics and Compliance Office has moved.  Please refer to our revised contact information.

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 involving a clinical intervention as part of the study, including clinical trial applications evaluating drugs, devices and natural health products. Clinical research must comply with the international ethical and scientific quality standards of Good Clinical Practice required by Health Canada.

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 office as fully complete and ready for review.

Health Research Ethics Board

The Health Research Ethics Board (HREB), reviews research that DOES NOT involve clinical interventions and meets this definition of minimal risk (PDF).

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 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 now 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: