Initiation and Administration of an Ethical Review

Procedure Number: 
Policy Number: 
Vice-President, Academic
Vice President, Academic
February 16, 2010
Last Amended: 
September 20, 2014
September 20, 2016
Procedure Statement: 

NOTE:  This procedure is consistent with the Tri-Council Policy Statement TCPS2 Chapter 6: Governance of Research Ethics Review, Section B: Procedures for Research Ethics Board Review.

Procedures under the Ethics in Research on Human Participants Policy classify research activities that require an ethical review. Once classified as required, the following procedure must be carried out in order to initiate and administer the review.


The following forms must be used:

  • Request for an Ethical Review;
  • Request for Amendment of an Approved Project; and
  • Notice of Approval.

Step #1:  Processing the Request

1.    Request for Review

a.  The Dean, or a senior member of the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies (OARGS), is responsible for ensuring that requests for ethical review are initiated appropriately and in a timely way, and for advising the researcher of the associated Policies and Procedures related to ethical research at the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC).

 b.  The project contact person (Applicant) fills in the “Request For An Ethical Review” form and submits it to OARGS via general e-mail

c.  If there are any changes to an existing approved Ethics file, the Applicant must submit a “Request for Amendment of an Approved Project” form indicating the amendment requested.

2.   Tracking and Filing Request

a.  A unique file number is assigned to each Request for an Ethics Review application received (e.g. JIBCER 2009-03)

 b.  An electronic folder for each year and a sub folder for each new project within that year are created under Ethics: Ethics Reviewed Projects. For example, for the 2009 files each new request would be coded as follows JIBCER2009-01, JIBCER2009-02, JIBCER2009-03 etc.

 c.  Amendments are tracked by adding to the project file number a sub-number to indicate the amendment number (e.g. JIBCER2009-01(1), JIBCER2009-01(2)) and are saved in the original application file.

 d.  A hard copy file is created and labelled with the Project Name and ER file number.  Both a hard copy and electronic copy of all ER forms and general communication are kept.

e.  The Master Ethics Review Form lists maintained by the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies will be updated to include each ethics review application.

3.   Review by the Research Ethics Board (REB)

a. The REB will be advised of the request for ethical review by an email with the following attachments:

  • A copy of the Request for an Ethical Review form;
  • All supporting documents (e.g. letters of consent, questionnaires); and
  • The deadline for responses.

b.  The REB will normally respond to the request for ethical review within twenty (20) working days. However, where special arrangements have to be made (for example, inclusion of Aboriginal groups, consultants) the deadline for responding may be extended at the discretion of the Dean, OARGS.

c.  Feedback and project approval from members of the REB are sent electronically and saved into a feedback file for each specific proposal.  A copy of all responses received is printed and kept on file. This information is to be kept confidential. 

d.  If members of the REB are not in agreement on project approval, a meeting of the Board will be scheduled and the Applicant will be given an opportunity to attend. A record of the meeting including minutes, all questions and concerns expressed by the REB and responses provided by the Applicant must be kept on file. The decision to approve or reject a project rests with the REB.

Step #2: Notification of Review Results (Approval or Non-Approval)

1.     Notice of Approval Form (APPR02) 

a.  Once the REB has approved the project, a “Notice of Approval” form (APPR02) is completed and signed by the Chair of the Research Ethics Board.

b.  The signed page is scanned and saved into the original electronic Project file.

2.     Notifying the Applicant of Approval

a. The signed APPR02 form is sent by the Administrative Assistant, OARGS to the Applicant by email within five (5) working days, copied to the Chair of the REB and the Dean, OARGS. The notification statement must include:

  • title of project;
  • date of approval;
  • length of approval; and
  • any follow-up requests (copies of updated consent forms or questionnaires that need to be sent to the committee).

Example of notification of approval e-mail:

“The Research Ethics Board of the JIBC has conducted an Ethical Review of the following project:  “From Diagnosis to Discernment: Fostering Clinical Judgment of Recruit Paramedics in High Fidelity Simulation”.  Approval of this project has been dated for January 30, 2009 and a Notice of Approval is attached. If your study continues longer than January 30, 2010 you must request a renewal on or before that date.

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding this review, please contact the Chair of the Research Ethics Board.  Thank you.”

  • A copy of the email is saved in the Project file.

3.    Notifying the Applicant of Non-Approval

a.  If the REB does not approve the project, the Chair will advise the Dean, OARGS, in writing of the reasons for non-approval, within 5 working days.

b.  The Administrative Assistant, OARGS will notify the Applicant of the REB decision and copy to the Chair, REB and the Dean, OARGS by email within five (5) working days, providing the reasons for the non-approval and advising the Applicant of the right to appeal the decision.

c.  The Applicant may re-apply once the concerns of the REB have been addressed. The Applicant also has the right to file an appeal, following the Research Ethics Appeal Process.

d.  An electronic copy and a hard copy of all correspondence must be kept on file.

4.    Tracking Updates

a.  The date of Final Approval or Non-Approval is entered in the Ethics Review Master File.  Also included are any follow-ups that may be required. 

b.  An ethics review approval has a duration of one year unless there is a specific request for a longer duration for multi-year projects.  For multi-year projects a request to extend the approval for the duration of the project can be accommodated upon request. The Researcher is requested to advise the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies a minimum of one month before the certificate expires, if an additional one year extension is required. 

c.  The Researcher must advise the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies when the study is completed and submit a copy of the final research report to the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies and if appropriate, to the JIBC Library.

Last updated July 30, 2015