Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP)


The provincial Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP) represents a commitment to supporting research within the health system in British Columbia. This initiative is one part of enabling infrastructure to mobilize and conduct high quality research, including clinical trials, for the benefit of British Columbians and the province. Research processes in scope for this project include operational approval, ethics reviews, contracts and agreements, data access, and privacy reviews.

The initiative seeks to address the challenges researchers in British Columbia face as they navigate research approval processes, which currently vary across health authorities. The aim is to reduce duplication, delays and ambiguity, and increase transparency for researchers and health organization administrators while maintaining appropriate protections for research participants in British Columbia.

The initiative is building on the successful ethics harmonization work that has been developed over time, and the deep knowledge and commitment of research approval administrators within health organizations. Engagement with subject matter experts and partners from the health authorities and research universities is ongoing and essential to inform, shape and validate the shifts that will be made.

For Winter/Spring of 2023/2024, four workstreams are underway:

  • Research Ethics Review: Development of a high-level ethics review policy and guidelines and exploration about effective provincial solutions.
  • Operational Approval: Standardization of commonly used forms and review of operational approval processes.
  • Privacy: Examination of the scope and process of privacy reviews to build greater consistency.
  • Data: Leveraging the standardized data access processes to the Health Data Platform BC through the Health Data Council.

Watch this space for updates from the Research Approvals Processes Project team as these workstreams continue to advance.

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Project overview

The Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP) is a joint Ministry of Health / Health Authority initiative to standardize and coordinate research approvals for multi-site research studies.

Project overview presentation

The project will provincially coordinate and standardize research approval processes (ethics, privacy, data access, operational review and contracts and agreements) for multi-site studies crossing more than one Health Authority.