Obtain Approval(s)

Approval Cycle

General Approval Information:

At the beginning any research study it is the responsibility of the investigator to determine if their study requires ethical approval and ensure they have all the necessary approvals in place before collecting any data. All research studies require both ethical and operational approval, but the process may look different depending on which hospital site or location you are working at. Please ensure that you read and understand the approval requirements for your site. If you have any questions please contact the Research Office.

Use the links provided in the following table to connect directly to site specific instructions for completing necessary forms. For assistance or signatures please contact the Department of Medicine Research Manager.


REB Approval

Operational Approval

PIA Required


Vancouver Coast Health CREB, BREB Yes If requested Operational approval must be renewed with yearly ethics renewal
Providence Health PHC REB Yes If requested
Fraser Health FH REB Yes Yes Investigators will be given an Letter of Authorization when all of the approvals are in place, no research can occur before this letter is received

Who Needs to Apply for Ethical Review?

According to the TCPS 2 (article 2.1) any research which involves human participants or live biological material which is executed through a disciplined inquiry using scientific methods requires review.

Not every project requires ethical review. The following is a list of projects which do not require ethical review:

  • Quality assurance / quality improvement
  • Program evaluation
  • Research which relies exclusively on publicly available information
  • Observational research carried out in public where there is no expectation of privacy
  • Research relying exclusively on secondary use of anonymous biological materials
  • Case reports which include one or two individuals

If you feel that your project qualifies as exempt from review it is strongly encouraged that you consult with a member from your local UBC REB to ensure.

For more information about ethics please consult the UBC Research Ethics Guidance Notes.

The UBC REB Approval Process

All UBC affiliated researchers are required to apply to a UBC affiliated REB for their research studies. Both human and animal research applications are completed through the online RISe system. If you are not familiar with the RISe system please see the RISe tutorials for assistance.