With the endorsement of the senior leaders of the partner organizations involved in the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI), MSFHR is taking on project management of the initiative as it enters a new phase of development.
The BCEHI is an MSFHR-facilitated and funded initiative aimed at developing a more effective, coordinated provincial approach to ethics review of health research studies involving multiple Research Ethics Boards (REB). It is funded at $1 million over a four year period (2011-2015).
Over the last two years, work has taken place to build trust among the partner organizations involved in the BCEHI, creating a solid foundation to develop and implement the review model(s) needed to achieve harmonized ethics review in BC. The BC Ethics Harmonization Reciprocity Agreement is in place that authorizes the 14 ethics review boards under their jurisdiction to collaborate on the development of streamlined ethics review processes between institutions, and there is agreement in principle to a centralized approach to provincial ethics review.
A new advisory committee will be appointed, with representation from each of the partner organizations, to bring together their experience and knowledge to the development of centralized REB review models. Development of the models will take place over the next spring and summer, with implementation on a test basis over a six-month period starting this fall. The aim is to have the models approved by the partner organizations by spring 2015.