Operational Review & Institutional Approval


Institutional approval must be issued before you start your research project.

Ethical Review and Operational Review are separate processes at Island Health that will be conducted concurrently.

Operational Review is required from the department directors, delegates and/or managers where you will be: 

  • utilizing Island Health property, resources and/or facilities (including research conducted in clinics, use of radiation, pharmacy, laboratory and pathology services, and use of health records) 
  • involving patients and staff and/or,
  • utilizing resources, data, programs and/or services of Island Health, or its patients, clients, residents or staff.

View the RECO Approval Flow


The Research Services Portal contains all forms required for your research project at Island Health. Please fill out the forms completely, even if you have provided similar information in the ethics portion of the application. We must receive an operational application to be paired with your ethics application, whether you apply on the Research Services Portal (aka ROMEO) or the PREP application on RISe.

Once your application is submitted, the Director(s) and/or Manager(s) of each department will receive an email advising them that there is a research application that requires their review. They can indicate in the review process whether they support the research study being conducted in their department.

The Operational Application Form found in the Research Services Portal provides specific requests for support for research from: 

  • Health Records, Decision Support and Databases
  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Health Records, Decision Support and Databases
  • Heart Health
  • Laboratory Medicine
  • Medical Imaging
  • Medical Device Reprocessing
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy Data Stewardship
  • Privacy and Compliance


When can I start my research?

At Island Health, research can only begin when your Institutional Approval letter is issued. Institutional Approval means both Ethical Approval and Operational Approval have been granted by all applicable departments.

When is Operational Review required?

If your research impacts Island Health sites, employees, patients, data or other resources, then you must submit an operational application in addition to your ethics application. When operational review is required this process runs concurrently with the ethical review. 

How do I apply for Operational Review?

The application can be found on the Research Services Portal. To apply for operational review, click this link to start your application: https://viha.researchservicesoffice.com/Romeo.Researcher