REC Members’ training

HRA committee members are required to undertake training and the HRA supports its members in this.

The Training Department provides an extensive programme of training aimed at Research Ethics Committee (REC) members.

Please visit the Training Department pages for a schedule of planned training days across the UK, as well as access to previous training materials.


Self-Directed Learning

We encourage REC members to attend a face to face training day if possible, because of the additional opportunity it provides for networking with members from other parts of the country. However, we recognise that it is not always possible for REC members to attend a training session in person which is why we also offer a number of online courses and Self-Directed learning opportunities.

Self-Directed Learning (SDL) allows HRA Committee members to adopt a more flexible approach to training so that they can meet the annual training requirement of 5 hours per year.  Learning activities must be linked to the work of the REC and our SDL document provides numerous suggestions and links to suitable resources.

The HRA’s Learning Management System (LMS) offers a growing programme of eLearning courses aimed at REC members and the wider research community.

Induction for new Research Ethics Committee Members

The Induction for new Research Ethics Committee Members course is designed for new REC members and takes approximately one hour to complete. This online training will enhance knowledge and awareness of the work of Research Ethics Committees during a new member’s first few months. Newly appointed REC members should complete the online induction training as soon as possible after receiving their appointment letter. Newly appointed REC members are also required to attend face to face induction training during the first 6 months of their appointment.

Any member is welcome to complete this course which will count towards your annual training requirement.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights

This course is for REC members who need to complete Equality and Diversity training within the first 12 months of their appointment and again during the first 12 months of re-appointment after 5 years’ service.


Additional modules are provided on the LMS.


All  REC members in England only are entitled to a free NHS Athens Account to allow access to some bibliographic databases and electronic journals such as The Lancet, British Medical Journal, and the Journal of Medical Ethics. Each REC Centre has a dedicated Athens administrator. If you would like an NHS Athens account please ask your REC Manager for details.