Before being authorized, all research projects must receive scientific and ethics approval. In addition, they must be approved by the institutional directorates related to the project. A contractual agreement, if there is one, must be signed before or at the same time as the letter of authorization.

Projects that are exempt from evaluation are quality assurance and quality improvement studies, program evaluation activities and performance evaluations, or reviews usually administered to individuals in the context of educational programs, if they are used exclusively for evaluation, management or improvement purposes, and do not constitute research. The Research Ethics Boards (REB) is responsible for determining whether the project is a research project or not.

For any questions concerning the ethical and scientific evaluation, or to know if your project can be exempted from evaluation, contact the Research Office (recherche.comtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca)


Ethics evaluation

This assessment is to ensure that research is conducted in accordance with ethical principles and that research respects the dignity, well-being and rights of the participants. The project only needs to be approved by a single Research Ethics Board (REB) of the Health and Social Services Network (HSSN). Ethical approvals obtained from committees outside the HSSN (e.g., university, research center, hospital in another province, etc.) are not recognized.


Scientific evaluation

This evaluation focuses on the scientific validity and relevance of the research, methodology and recruitment of research participants. It is conducted by the REB, in parallel with the ethical evaluation. The results of other scientific peer reviews are generally recognized but do not preclude the REB from conducting its own assessment.


Site-specific assessment

This evaluation results from a consultation of the establishment’s directorates, as well as the medical services and departments under their responsibilities, who will assess the relevance of the project for the institution and their ability to participate if necessary. All projects are evaluated for propriety even if they are limited to analysis or do not involve any resources from the institution. If the project has previously received a letter of support, the site-specific requirements will consist primarily of confirmation of support and will normally be expedited.


Contract review

All terms of the contractual agreements between the promoters, the researchers and the institution must be reviewed by the research center administration to ensure compliance and acceptability. The contract is revised concurrently with the other evaluations.