Research Ethics Boards

All human research conducted by members of Island Health, or involving Island Health facilities, patients, residents, clients, staff, physicians, current data holdings or other resources, requires ethical approval as part of the Institutional Approval process.

Research Ethics Boards (REBs) are independent committees authorized to review the ethical acceptability of research and to approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research involving human participants. 

Island Health’s REBs are independent in their decision-making, and they are required to operate free of inappropriate influence, including situations of real, potential or perceived conflict of interest. Island Health may not override REB decisions concerning the ethical acceptability of a study.

There are two REBs providing review services for Island Health in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2), the International Conference on Harmonization Good Clinical Practice Guidelines (ICH-GCP) and the requirements of the US Department of Health and Human Services, as set out in the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 45CFR Part 46, sub-part A. 

Research taking place in additional locations in British Columbia may be eligible for harmonized ethical review. Applications for multi-jurisdictional research will no longer be accepted in any other format than PREP applications on RISe.

Determine your REB

Submit your ethics application to the appropriate Island Health REB.

Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB)

The CREB reviews research that involves surgery, clinical interventions (the administration or testing of drugs, medical devices, medical imaging or diagnostic techniques, and the taking of blood or other specimens), and the analysis of clinical data. The CREB will also review clinical studies involving registries and/or the linkage of databases.

New research applications for CREB consideration will generally require review at a full board meeting. The deadlines for full board review are listed below. Please note that all electronic submissions are deemed received when they have been acknowledged by the Research Ethics & Compliance Office as fully complete and ready for review.  

CREB Meetings and Deadlines
Federal Wide Assurance (FWA)

Health Research Ethics Board (HREB)

The HREB reviews research that is predominantly behavioural or social sciences related. Studies may involve the study of patients or healthcare providers and retrospective chart reviews. Studies also may involve interviews, focus groups, observations, the administration of questionnaires or tests, or retrospective chart review (where no clinical interventions are performed as part of the study). 

Minimal risk studies submitted to the HREB are sent for review as they are received. No meeting dates or deadlines apply. Above minimal risk studies are reviewed at the next scheduled HREB meeting. Researchers will be contacted if this is necessary. The deadlines for full board review are listed below. All electronic submissions are deemed received when they have been acknowledged by the Research Ethics & Compliance office as fully complete and ready for review.  

HREB Meetings and Deadlines

HREB Meetings and Deadlines 2024-2025
HREB Meetings and Deadlines 2023-2024

Additional Resources

Recruitment of Patient Partner Board Members

Membership Lists

CREB Membership Lists


February 2024 CREB Membership List


June 2023 CREB Membership List
May 2023 CREB Membership List
February 2023 CREB Membership List
January 2023 CREB Membership List


November 2022 CREB Membership List
September 2022 CREB Membership List
February 2022 CREB Membership List
January 2022 CREB Membership List


December 2021 CREB Membership List
November 2021 CREB Membership List 
September 2021 CREB Membership List 
August 2021 CREB Membership List
February 2021 CREB Membership List


December 2020 CREB Membership List
November 2020 CREB Membership List
September 2020 CREB Membership List
January 2020 CREB Membership List

HREB Membership Lists 


July 2024 HREB Membership List
April 2024 HREB Membership List
March 2024 HREB Membership List
February 2024 HREB Membership List
January 2024 HREB Membership List


November 2023 HREB Membership List
August 2023 HREB Membership List
July 2023 HREB Membership List
June 2023 HREB Membership List
May 2023 HREB Membership List


November 2022 HREB Membership List
September 2022 HREB Membership List
June 2022 HREB Membership List
February 2022 HREB Membership List