What type of ethical approval do I need?

Please consider what type of ethical approval you think your project needs and if you are a student, discuss with your supervisor. Please consider whether you need NHS or other external approvals for projects being undertaken in other countries. Certain countries may require you to have UK ethics approval, even if your project will have no UK component, if their regulatory environment is, for example, not well-developed. In such cases, you will need to get ethical approval from one of the School committees. If you need any further advice, contact one of the committee chairs or their deputies (http://www.gcu.ac.uk/hls/ethics/universitynhsandrdcontacts/) or the local NHS ethics committees.


To check whether your project would be classed as research please use the Health Research Authority tool.

If you are planning on using NHS patients, please consider that you will need to apply for NHS REC ethical approval and will need to complete an IRAS form, then book the application in for review. You will still need to submit an application for R&D approval after this. This may take a considerable amount of time (up to 60 days before an initial REC decision is made), so please discuss the timings of this with your supervisor.
You can download the IRAS User Manual. For further advice for completing IRAS forms, please go to the IRAS guidance section.
If your study is using NHS employees or data from NHS sources, although you may not need NHS ethics approval, you may still need R&D and/or Caldicott approval. Please clarify with local NHS REC committees that you do not need NHS ethics approval. Contact your local R&D department or where you want to do the study for further guidance. Alternatively, contact one of the departmental chairs of the ethics committee for some further advice.