October 2021: HRA UK ‘Think Ethics Programme’

The HRA UK aims to design a research ethics review service that will focus on five areas for change – differentiated and proportionate review methods, better participant information, the right committee format for the future, a better experience for REC members, and a more consistent REC review.

Through the Think Ethics programme, they will review the different review methods including review at a REC meeting, light-touch review and, building on feedback from researchers, the possibility of self-assessment by researchers and sponsors. Work with research participants, researchers and REC members to improve participant information so as to ensure that review of this information by a REC is consistent and proportionate. Plan to design a committee format that will utilise virtual working and retain the sense of community within and between RECs. Clarify research ethics questions for applicants and ensure REC members review only the information required for ethics review. Work with REC members to determine what level of variation is appropriate and to address the same.