The College of Optometrists

Ethical research

D36
You must make the care and safety of the patient your first and continuing concern.259
D37
If you undertake research on people or animals, you should seek ethical approval, where appropriate, using the relevant research ethics approval process.
D38
In the UK, the routes to ethical approval are:
  1. university ethics committees, or
  2. The National Research Ethics Service, which is part of the Health Research Authority.260 
D39
If your research involves even one NHS patient or record you should apply for ethical approval using the HRA Approval system.
D40
University research will be subject to the ethics processes in place at the individual institution.
D41
You must work within the relevant legislation; see Useful information and links section below.
D42
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.
D43
You must maintain confidentiality.261
D44
You must act with honesty and integrity when designing, supervising or carrying out research.

See sections on Consent and Confidentiality.

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