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3: Streamlining

Last updated on 21 Jul 2022

Researchers may need approvals from multiple agencies before their research can go ahead. They make multiple applications, often waiting for each approval before applying for the next. We are working to join up these processes so researchers can make one application, saving time and money.

Scroll down to see some of the ways that we are streamlining applications.

Reducing time

Combined review halves the time it takes for studies to get approval and cuts the time from application to recruiting a first patient by 40 days.

Reference: Comparison of timelines for CTIMPs going through separate and combined review from 2018 to present.

Combined review

We get around 1000 applications for Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) a year, studies which also need approval from our sister regulator, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Combined review means researchers can make one application for these approvals. Piloted in 2018, all CTIMPs will get combined review from 1 January 2022. Applicants can also choose fast-track ethics approval for their study.

  • easier for researchers who can make one application for approval from two agencies
  • faster 

Developing a research system that works for everyone

Working with our fellow regulators, research organisations and devolved administration partners we are transforming the system used by researchers, IRAS, to provide new functionality and improve user experience.

Our vision is to create a world-class hub for health and social care research in the UK, offering smooth and intuitive access to research approval, study management, best practice guidance and lay-friendly information about the results of research.  IRAS will connect with other research sector systems and support researchers throughout the lifecycle of their project, from planning and placement of new research through to set-up and delivery.

  • clear navigation
  • removing the need for duplication
  • reduced complexity
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