RAPP to streamline research approvals in BC

26 June 2023

British Columbia’s Ministry of Health and health authorities (including Providence Healthcare) are working together to change the landscape of research approval processes within the province’s health sector.

The provincial Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP) represents a commitment to further strengthening a research positive culture within the health system and ensuring there is 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 approvals, ethics reviews, contracts and agreements, data access, and privacy reviews.

The project team seeks to address the challenges researchers in British Columbia face as they navigate research approval processes, which currently vary across each health authority. 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 undertaken by Research Ethics BC, part of Health Research BC; is leveraging the standardized data access processes to the Health Data Platform BC through the Health Data Council; and is drawing on the deep expertise of leaders in research approval processes across the organizations. The project team is also communicating with post-secondary institutions, given the inter-connectedness with these key partners.

To date, Health Authority partners have provided vital insights and the project team has begun to move forward with the engagement of subject matter experts to inform, shape, and validate the changes being made.

Stay tuned for regular updates on key milestones starting in July 2023. In the meantime, questions can be sent to: Anne Marie Locas, Project Lead, Research Approvals Processes Project, AnneMarie.Locas@gov.bc.ca.

Learn more about the Research Approvals Processes Project here.