NHS REC Booking & Submission Changes – Implemented 19 May 2014HRA_site-logo_small copy

The HRA has changed the processes for applying to Research Ethics Committees (RECs) to improve its service and make the booking and application process more straightforward for researchers. The key changes that have been introduced are as follows:

NEW Central Booking Service (CBS) for applications to NHS RECs

A new national Central Booking Service (CBS), has been introduced, to cover all bookings for RECs in the UK. This replaces the previous Central Allocation System, Proportionate Review Allocation Systems and Local Allocation Systems. It is expected to result in a more efficient allocation of applications across meetings. Researchers may still book to the REC of their choice for full applications when using CBS.

Phase 1 studies may be booked via CBS or direct with the NHS REC.


NEW introduction of electronic submission to NHS RECs

All forms created in IRAS for submission to NHS RECs (except notices of substantial amendment, which should be submitted by email) are now submitted electronically from IRAS.

This means that the NHS REC form (including GTAC, Social Care REC, Research Tissue Bank and Research Database variants) and non-NHS Site Specific Information (SSI) forms and their associated supporting documentation will be electronically submitted by the applicant from IRAS to the REC system. This will remove the need to submit hard copies.

Electronic submission must be completed on the same day as the booking is made. So applicants must ensure that their application is ready to submit (i.e. has been checked for completeness, supporting documents attached to the form checklist on IRAS and e-authorisations in place) before calling to book their application. Any pre-submission advice should continue to be sought from local HRA Offices.

Notice of Substantial Amendment forms are still created in IRAS but they cannot be electronically submitted from IRAS to the REC. Submission of these forms continues to be via email.


Mandatory electronic authorisation for declarations on NHS REC forms

Since 28 April 2014, all forms* created in IRAS for submission to NHS RECs must be authorised using the electronic authorisation (e-authorisations) functionality in IRAS.

To electronically authorise an application, the person must have an IRAS account. Please check whether the people that you ask to authorise your applications have IRAS accounts and, if not, please set them up as soon as possible.

E-authorisation must be completed in advance of booking a REC.

We strongly recommend that you check as early as possible that anyone you will need to ask to authorise an application has an IRAS account. If they need to set up an account, they should complete the simple form to register.

*Notice of Substantial Amendment forms created in Minimal Dataset projects in IRAS (i.e. Notice of Substantial Amendments for projects whose original REC applications were made pre-IRAS) are currently exempt from this requirement.

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