Replacing the Research Governance Framework

Upon becoming a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on 1 January 2015, the HRA took responsibility for issuing guidance for research in England, in place of the Research Governance Framework (RGF).

The HRA and Devolved Administrations committed to the ambition of having a single framework for research across the UK and established a UK-wide Steering Group to lead this work. Throughout 2014 the Steering Group worked to fundamentally review the whole framework through seeking comment on the findings from a series of projects (see ‘Key areas of work below’). The results have been used to develop a revised framework.

The draft UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research was issued by the HRA and the individual Devolved Administrations in spring 2015 for early comment. Our summary of responses to the call for comments and next steps is available here. The comments received were broadly similar across the four UK countries. Click for the responses from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A revision of the policy framework was then issued by the HRA and each Devolved Administration separately for public consultation, following consideration of the feedback received during the comment period and follow-on engagement. The HRA consultation ran from Friday 18 December 2015 until Thursday 24 March 2016. Our summary of responses to the HRA’s public consultation is available here. The HRA and Devolved Administrations are now reviewing together the responses received across the UK to agree a final version of the policy framework for publication later this year.

Research Governance Framework Steering Group

The Research Governance Framework Steering Group, with membership from the HRA and Devolved Administrations, plus observers from the Department of Health, is overseeing this process. The terms of reference for the steering group are available here.

Key areas of work

The work undertaken by the UK wide Steering Group involved a series of individual projects which focused on key areas affecting research governance. The links below give details of the projects, together with the comments stakeholders made on them and the conclusions we took forward into the drafting of the framework that has now been released for comment.

  1. How we best support research in the NHS – Educational Research
  2. Social Care Scoping Exercise
  3. What are the risks to research because of perceived risks of research?
  4. Risk in research: serious breach notifications and safety reporting
  5. Perception of risk in research
  6. Seeking Informed Consent for Simple and Efficient Trials in the NHS