Ethics approval

The ethics application to an NHS Research Ethics Committee (NHS REC) is regulated by the Governance Arrangements for NHS Research Ethics Committees.  Not all research conducted in the UK requires ethics approval, therefore the Health Research Authority has developed a decision tool to determine if the study requires REC approval

Any research taking place in NHS premises involving patients, carers, a Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product, device, human tissue or invasive research involving prisoners or adults lacking capacity will require an ethical review by an NHS REC. 

According to the Health Research Authority (HRA) ‘research’ in the NHS is defined as:

“the attempt to derive generalizable new knowledge including studies that aim to generate hypotheses as well as studies that aim to test them”

RESEARCH - is designed and conducted to generate new knowledge and should follow the systems for approval of NHS Research

AUDIT - is designed to answer the question "Does this service reach a predetermined standard?"

EVALUATION - is designed to answer the question "what standard does this service achieve?"

Alternatively, if the research does not fall under these categories you may request a  University research ethics committee approval.

Before you decide please check some helpful links :

The Defining Research table below produced by the Research Ethics Service alongside the NRES Defining Research leaflet aims to help you decide whether or not your study is research.