Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP)


The provincial Research Approvals Processes Project (RAPP) represents a commitment to further strengthening a research positive culture within the health system in BC. This project is one part of the 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 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 deep knowledge and commitment within health organizations’ research approval administrators, the successful ethics harmonization work that has developed intentionally over time, and will leverage the standardized data access processes to the Health Data Platform BC through the Health Data Council. The initiative’s project team is communicating with post-secondary institutions, given the important interconnectedness with these 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 shifts that will be made.

For Summer/Fall of 2023 three streams of work are underway:

  • Research Ethics Review: Development of a high-level ethics review policy and guidelines
  • Operational Reviews: Standardization of commonly used forms and review of operational approval processes
  • Privacy: examine the scope and process of privacy reviews to build greater consistency

Project updates


Additional resources

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.