- If you undertake research on people or animals, you should seek ethical approval, where appropriate, using the relevant research ethics approval process.
- In the UK, the routes to ethical approval are:
- university ethics committees, or
- The National Research Ethics Service, which is part of the Health Research Authority.260
- If your research involves even one NHS patient or record you should apply for ethical approval using the HRA Approval system.
- University research will be subject to the ethics processes in place at the individual institution.
- Where you conduct research on people you must get consent from the research participants before involving them in any research project. For people who are unable to consent you will need to make an additional application.
259 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians [Accessed 10 Nov 2017]
260 Health Research Authority [Accessed 17 Nov 2017]
261 NHS Research and Development Forum (2006) Notes on developing procedures within NHS organisations for appropriate authorisation and management of research and related projects [Accessed 10 Nov 2017]