HRA Ethics and other approvals

ethics picThe NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) states that:

“The regulation of health research provides participants with assurance that the research that they take part in is of high quality, safe and ethical. It also ensures that the results of research can be relied on and used as evidence to inform future decisions about healthcare and treatment.

The UK has a range of bodies which have roles in regulating different aspects of health research in humans. The Health Research Authority provides Research Ethics Committees and the Confidentiality Advisory Group, which review applications to undertake certain types of research. We also work with other bodies to coordinate the overall system for regulation and governance of research.

Regulatory bodies have legal responsibilities to approve, licence or inspect particular research activities. In addition, research sites have responsibilities to manage research they host.”


Where can I get more information about what I need to do for my study?

Your first port of call should be the RM&S team. You can also read more about the process on the HRA website.

The HRA website is a great source and details the “key stages in the research pathway”. To find out more, click here


is it research The first question you need to ask is whether your study is a research project, service improvement, evaluation or audit. The best way to determine whether your study is research is to use the Health Research Authority website tool

The website will give you a report at the end which tells you whether it is research or not, which will be needed when discussing your study with us.

If your study is not research then you do not need to obtain local R&D approval, although you will need to discuss your plans with the relevant Head of Clinical Service.