Research Ethics & Approvals

Important COVID-19 Notice: Clinical Trials and Health Research Operations at Island Health 

Island Health Research is focused on reducing risks for research participants and the public, and on proactively ensuring that resources are prioritized and available to support the COVID-19 response. Therefore, until further notice, we are suspending the review and initiation of new clinical trials and clinical/health research projects, with the exception of those related to COVID-19. In addition, recruitment into existing trials or research studies is suspended. Changes to existing studies as a result of COVID-19 must be documented and reported to the Research Ethics Board (REB) as soon as possible. All existing studies, whether or not they are impacted by COVID-19, will still require ongoing reporting to the REB as per existing approval requirements. Please review the full notice for details and contact information and see this follow-up notice on the exemption process for continuing or amending non-COVID studies.

COVID-19 Operations Update 

The Research Ethics & Compliance Office remains open during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have, however, moved to full-time telework to protect our staff and their families. Therefore, all communication should be conducted through email. During this time we will do our best to respond to your communication and provide our normal level of service as efficiently as possible. Contact the Research Ethics & Compliance Office.

Approval to Conduct Research

In order to conduct research at Island Health, Principal Investigators must obtain:

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2)

The TCPS 2 is a joint policy of Canada’s three federal research agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), or "the Agencies."

The Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research has launched the third revision of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). The TCPS 2 (2018) replaces the TCPS 2014 as the official human research ethics policy of the Agencies. 

Read more about the TCPS 2 (2018), see a summary of changes, and learn about guidance on how to address material incidental findings.  

Research Ethics Harmonization for Multi-Jurisdictional Studies at Island Health

Researchers who must obtain multiple ethical approvals from separate BC research ethics Boards (such as UVic, UBC, BC Cancer, or another BC health authority) must now do so using the Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP). All new research projects that involves both UVic and Island Health must be completed in PREP.

UBC Family Practice Resident Research, UBC Dietetic students, UBC Pharmacy Residents and UBC Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Program (FoM SSRP) must also use PREP to submit their ethics application. Refer to the UBC Guidance document.

Please visit here for instructions on how to get started.

Additional approvals for regulated sponsored clinical trials:

  1. Clinical Trial Agreement between Island Health, Principal Investigator, and Sponsor
  2. Health Canada Letter of No Objection (NOL)
  3. Clinical Trial Registration number with a non-profit clinical trials registry, e.g.

QI/QA and Program Evaluation Projects

Although Quality Improvement (QI) and Quality Assurance (QA) projects do not undergo a formal review by a research ethics board, they still require appropriate organizational oversight. If you are unsure if your project would be considered QI or Research, please consider completing the ARECCI tool created by Island Health.

Please note: You must be logged into the Island Health network to access this tool.

If you are considering conducting a QI project within Island Health, please complete the QI Registry

Additional approvals for grant-funded studies:

1. Grant Contribution Agreement

Additional approvals for external affiliated researchers:

  1. Research Affiliation/Collaboration Agreement (inter-institutional)
  2. Study Specific Researcher Affiliation Agreement


Research Ethics and Compliance Office 
Queen Alexandra Centre
Main Building, Room 205
2400 Arbutus Rd
Victoria, B.C.
V8N 1V7



E. Sarah Bennett
250-519-6706 (internal 36706) 

Health Research 

Dawn Pollon, Research Ethics Coodinator
250-519-5300 ext. 36212 

Kimberly Horie, Research Administrative Coordinator
250-519-6726 (internal 36726)

Clinical Research 

Karen Medler, Research Ethics Coordinator
250-519-5300 ext. 36207

Joy (Joey) Pearson, Research Ethics Administrator 
250-519-5300 ext. 36210

Operational or Institutional Approval

Kimberly Horie, Research Administrative Coordinator
250-519-6726 (internal 36726)

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