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This document is the policy of the UK health departments, describing what is expected from the research ethics committees that review research proposals relating to areas of the departments’ responsibility. It also explains when review by these committees is required.
The policy covers the principles, requirements and standards for research ethics committees, including their remit, composition, functions, management and accountability. It also describes the Research Ethics Service in which the research ethics committees operate the review fuction they provide.
This harmonised edition came into effect on 1 September 2011. It revises and replaces editions of the policy previously issued separately in England and Scotland in 2001. It also applies in Wales and Northern Ireland.
April 2012 erratum
We inserted an additional last paragraph in annex D: functions of appointing authorities. The additional paragraph sets out the responsibilities of the research ethics committees appointing authorities in Scotland.
February 2012 erratum
A paragraph was erroneously omitted from the document. We have added a new paragraph 2.3.8A.