Research Ethics Service and Research Ethics Committees

The Health Research Authority and the Devolved Administrations provide a Research Ethics Service so that research proposals relating to their areas of responsibility can be reviewed by a Research Ethics Committee (REC). Research Ethics Committees protect the rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing of research participants. Managing the Research Ethics Committees in England is one of the Health Research Authority’s core functions.

We have a duty to provide an efficient and robust ethics review service that maximises UK competitiveness for health research and maximises the return from investment in the UK, while protecting participants and researchers.

We have a dual mission to protect the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants and to facilitate and promote ethical research that is of potential benefit to participants, science and society. 

The Research Ethics Service consists of: 

The Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees (GAfREC) describe what is expected from RECs when reviewing research proposals.