Study Classification

The guidance below will help you to decide whether or not your study is research as defined by the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research:

Is my project research?

One of the first steps in deciding which approvals you need for your project is to determine whether it is classed as research, and therefore whether it should be managed as such. The HRA decision tool allows researchers to determine if NHS approvals will be required for their project.

Do I need NHS REC approvals?

Not all research conducted within the UK requires review by an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC). The HRA NHS ethics decision tool will take you through a number of questions to determine whether NHS ethics approvals are required for your project.

All projects requiring NHS ethics approvals must receive GCU ethics approval for the project before seeking approval from NHS ethics committees.


What other approvals do I need?

It’s important to ensure your project has all the required approvals before it begins. The Health Data Access Tool Kit developed by the MRC Regulatory Support Centre sign posts researchers to the approvals required for their project and issues that need to be considered during the application process.