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New Participant Identification Centres model agreements

Last updated on 15 Jul 2019

As part of the new UK Local Information Packs, research organisations can benefit from the HRA’s model agreements for NHS or HSC Participant Identification Centres – known as PICs.

Model Participant Identification Centre (PIC) agreements have now been published and are available on IRAS Help alongside guidance.

Participant Identification Centres (PICs) are NHS or HSC organisations that identify potential research participants. They are not research sites and should not be treated in the same way as research sites.

What is a PIC?

An NHS/HSC organisation is operating as a PIC when it meets the following three criteria:

•         identifies potential research participants by processing personal data (e.g. through carrying out a search of a patient records database to identify individuals that meet a study’s eligibility criteria)

•         is following the sponsor(s) instructions in identifying potential research participants


•         directs these potential participants elsewhere without undertaking any further research activity for that study (i.e. the research occurs at another legal entity).


What contracting arrangements should be put in place with NHS/HSC PICs?

Commercial and non-commercial templates are available. NHS/HSC PICs should be set up by through a sub-contracting arrangement between the participating NHS/HSC organisation research site and the PIC using the appropriate model agreement:

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