Exemptions from Research Ethics Review

Some studies are exempt from REB review; determination of exemption is based on regulatory and institutional criteria. Information on exemptions is provided in Chapter 2 of the TCPS 2 and can be accessed via the following link: TCPS Articles 2.1-2.6. Researchers conducting a US federally-funded study should familiarize themselves with the US exemptions which can be accessed via the following link: 45 CFR 46.101.

Whether or not a project is exempt from ethical review is the decision of an institution REBs. Please seek the opinion of the Island Health Research Ethics & Compliance Office before initiating a project. 

Island Health REBs will not review or acknowledge research that has already been conducted.

Case Reports

Case Reports of one or two do not generally require formal research ethics review at Island Health. Please review the guidance documentation, and proceed per its instructions. For information about this, contact researchethics@islandhealth.ca

Guidance Case Reports and Research Ethics Review

Sample Template - Consent to Publish

Sample Template - Assent to Publish

Quality Improvement (QI)/ Quality Assurance (QA) and Program Evaluation Projects

The current TCPS 2 defines research as “an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry and/or systematic investigation” and states that quality assurance studies, performance reviews, or testing within normal educational requirements do not constitute research, and do not fall within the scope of REB review. 

TCPS 2, Article 2.5, further defines quality assurance studies as studies related directly to assessing the performance of an organization or its employees or students, within the mandate of the organization or according to the terms and conditions of employment or training.

Only research projects should be submitted for ethical review. Quality assurance projects and program evaluations are not considered research and do not require review by an REB. Intention to publish the findings does not determine whether something is research or quality assurance. 

QI Ethics

If you are unsure whether your project is quality improvement or research, or if you would like additional ethical review for non-research activities happening at Island Health, please use our QI Ethics Decision-Making Support Tool.

All submissions to our tool will automatically register your project in the Island Health QI Registry and connect you with the local QI Ethics team for guidance and support.

All projects in the registry are assembled and shared in our QI For You and I Report.