Common forms and consent templates have been developed for a harmonized review process between the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), University of Regina (U of R) and the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Each Research Ethics Office has a website with detailed information on process, policies, submission deadlines and meeting times: U of S, U of R, RQHR.
With few exceptions, all research must be submitted for ethics review before proceeding with data collection. Researchers are strongly encouraged to review the recent Government of Canada TCPS 2 - 2nd Edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans and complete the tutorial.
An ethics review is NOT required if you are:
- using secondary, de-identified, pooled data which cannot be linked to the original subject/s
- observing subjects at public meetings or political rallies
- using publicly available reports, literature, or STATS CAN data
- conducting a quality assurance study, performance review, or testing within normal educational requirements; see Quality Assurance & Improvement, Program Evaluation and Research to determine whether your research is a quality assurance or program evaluation.
TCPS 2 - 2nd Edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans defines minimal risk as "research in which the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research is no greater than those encountered by participants in those aspects of their everyday life that relate to the research." (Article 2.8B)
See also Consent Form Guidelines and Template produced by the U of S Behavioural (Beh) REB; if in doubt contact the Beh-Ethics Officer.
Health Regions and Schools Approved Process
Typically health regions and schools require both ethics and operational approval. Common forms and consent templates have been developed for a harmonized ethics review between the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina and the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region; operational approval remains with the specific health region or school board. An overview is provided below; it is the researcher's responsibility to be fully apprised of Board and Health Region policies and procedures.
Saskatoon Health Region (SHR)
In addition to the U of S ethics review, you must obtain operational approval from the Health Region, which includes completion of a Department Impact Assessment. Ethics approval is not required to conduct the Department Impact Assessment, but it's a good idea to prepare the ethics application and the impact assessment at the same time.
You should be familiar with SHR's research policy. For full details consult the SHR's Research Approval web site. Questions? Contact SHR's Research Approval Coordinator. Operational approval is usually granted within three to five working days from receipt of the complete application.
Briefly, the steps are:
- Submit your ethics application to the U of S REB for review and approval.
- Complete the SHR's Operational Approval Application Form (see Resources on SHR's Research Approval web page). Start working on the section for Department Impact Assessment as soon as possible. Note: signatures are required from relevant department managers (an email from the manager's SHR account confirming approval is acceptable).
- Email the Operational Approval application form, including the Ethics Certificate of Approval or Notice of Exemption, Research Ethics application and if applicable the Approved Consent form to SHR's Research Approval Coordinator or mail the above documents to:
Research Approval Coordinator
Post Office Box 118
Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR)
Currently the request for operational approval has only been incorporated into the biomedical ethics application. Contact RQHR Ethics on how to obtain operational approval for behavioural research.
Other Health Regions
Every health region has its own policies regarding ethical approval of research. While your ethics application to the U of S REB is being developed, contact the relevant health region to inquire about these policies.
Most school boards have their own policies on research in their schools. Contact the school board(s) to discuss their requirements for ethical approval, particularly if your research involves children who are minors and/or their families, as this will likely require parental consent and full-board review and will take more time to process.
Research with Aboriginal Peoples
Chapter 9 of the TCPS 2 - 2nd Edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans details ethical practices when working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. CIHR's Ethics Office and Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health have also published guidelines to help their researchers conduct research that is both ethical and culturally appropriate to Aboriginal Peoples. These guidelines do not in any way supplant the regulations outlined in TCPS 2.
Submission and Deadlines
Harmonized Review Process
Common forms and consent templates have been developed for a harmonized review process between the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina and the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region.
Step 1: College Level
The Associate Dean Research, Innovation and Global Initiatives signs Ethics applications. Plan ahead; obtaining the signature may require several working days. To arrange for signature contact the Administrative Assistant.
- Submit the original paper application and email a pdf version to the Administrative Assistant.
Step 2: University Level
Scan the signed application and email to firstname.lastname@example.org and send the signed paper copy to:
Research Ethics Office
University of Saskatchewan
Room 223 Thorvaldson
110 Science Place
Physical Location (should you wish to hand deliver):
Room 223 Thorvaldson
110 Science Place