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.

For information regarding Research at Island Health and COVID-19, please go to Conduct Research with Island Health.

For current information regarding COVID-19, Research Ethics, Operational Review, and Compliance please go to COVID-19 and Research Ethics & Compliance.

Researchers submitting a COVID-19 clinical research ethics application that includes or intends to include Island Health must notify the Manager of Clinical Research by email to at the time of submission to support coordination and planning. Please read this notice for further details. 

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.  

Changes are coming to the CORE tutorial in January 2022! Click here for more details.

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 (REB), they still require appropriate organizational oversight. As per TCPS2 (2018), Article 2.5, they fall outside the scope of research ethics review but they may still have ethical considerations. Institutions may implement review processes in order to address these and indicate the project has been exempted from REB review. Island Health offers the QI Ethics consult process.

If you are unsure if your project would be considered QI or Research, please consider completing the Quality Improvement (QI) Ethics Decision Making Tool and Registry created by Island Health.

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 

Julita Traylen, Administrative Assistant, Research Ethics (HREB, General Inquiries) 
250-519-5300 ext. 36216

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, Administrative Assistant, Research Ethics (CREB, General Inquiries)
250-519-5300 ext. 36210

Operational or Institutional Approval

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

Research Compliance

Tracy Wong, Research Compliance Facilitator
250-519-5300 x 36220  

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