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Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans Policy

Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans Policy Information

Date Approved: May 17, 2021
Effective Date: May 17, 2021
Date Reviewed: Fall 2020
Replaces: Version 2012


Cambrian College (‘the College’) is committed to ensuring that all Research involving Human Participants conducted under the auspices of the College meets the highest scientific and ethical standards, and complies with the standards and Core Principles as outlined in the current version of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2).

This Policy aims to strike an appropriate balance between the recognition of the potential benefits of research and the protection of participants from research-related harms.


Core Principles: as defined by the TCPS 2 and includes three core principles that together express the overarching value of respect for human dignity: Respect for Persons, Concern for Welfare, and Justice.

Human Participant: those individuals whose data, biological materials, or responses to interventions, stimuli or questions by the Researcher, are relevant to answering the Research question(s).

Principal Investigator: the individual who submits the Research application and accepts responsibility for the Research project and who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements the Research Ethics Committee and the TCPS 2 and, also, the ethical treatment of Human Participants, where relevant, throughout the life of the project.

Research: an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry and/or systematic investigation.

Research Ethics Committee (REC): an autonomous entity, accountable to the Board of Governors, formally constituted to review and monitor all Research involving human participants through the application of the Core Principles of Research ethics, as defined in the TCPS 2.

Application/ Scope

This policy applies to any individual, internal or external to the College, wishing to conduct Research involving Human Participants. This includes Research conducted by or involving College employees, students, and/or College resources (equipment, facilities or personnel), regardless of where, when or how the Research is conducted.

Policy Statements

  1. The College is committed to safeguarding and advancing high-quality academic and ethical standards in all its activities.
  2. The College strictly prohibits Researchers from conducting any study involving human without approval. All Research projects involving Human Participants conducted under the auspices of the College must be reviewed and approved by the institution and the REC before the Research commences.
  3. All Research at the College is conducted in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research involving Humans (TCPS 2(2018)). The Principal Investigator must ensure that all members of the Research team comply with the requirements of the REC and the guidelines of the TCPS 2, including but not limited to the procedures for consent, fairness and equity, confidentiality, and conflicts of interest.
  4. Researchers must endeavour to achieve and maintain an appropriate balance between potential benefits and harms, where harms do not outweigh the anticipated benefits.
  5. Researchers are responsible for ascertaining and complying with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements with respect to consent and the privacy of participants. Where the research is considered to be a governmental activity, standards for protecting participants must flow from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, federal privacy legislation, and any applicable regulatory requirements.
  6. Researchers are to strive to maximize the anticipated benefits to the participants as well as society by providing access to the Research findings.
    1. In order to do so, Researchers will have the freedom of inquiry and the right to disseminate the results of that inquiry, freedom to challenge conventional thought and freedom from institutional censorship.
  7. The Core Principles of the TCPS 2 – respect for person, concern for welfare, and justice – must be incorporated into the Research design and implementation of each project.
  8. The REC will provide ethical review and approval of Research involving Human Participants, prior to the start of the Research.
    1. The Research Ethics Review Operating Procedure establishes the process and requirements for the approval and review of Research at the College.
    2. The REC will assess the acceptability of a research project through consideration of the foreseeable risks, the potential benefits, and the ethical implications of the project.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Vice President Academic is responsible for

  • Ensuring that all Research involving humans conducted under the auspices of the College is responsible and ethical; and
  • Ensuring that appropriate resources are in place for the REC to allow it to perform its duties as outlined in the REC Terms of Reference.

Academic Administrators are responsible for

  • Being familiar with the requirements of this Policy;
  • Being aware of ongoing Research within their area or department; and
  • Creating an environment that promotes responsible and ethical Research.

Planning and Institutional Research is responsible for

  • Informing and educating individuals involved in Research about policy, standards and procedures related to ethical conduct of Research at the College;
  • Coordinating and supporting activities and facilitate functions of the Research Ethics Committee; and
  • Documenting and tracking Research projects.

Research Ethics Committee is responsible for

  • Ensuring a competent independent research ethics review;
  • Protecting the rights and welfare of Human Participants involved in Research; and
  • Reviewing and overseeing the Research to ensure that it meets the ethical principles and that it complies with all applicable regulations and guidelines pertaining to Human
  • Participant protections.

Researchers are responsible for

  • Complying with the requirements of this policy;
  • Ensuring that they are familiar with and conduct all research in accordance with the TCPS 2 on ethical Research
  • Adhering to the Core Principles when conducting research in involving Human Participants;
  • Complying with the requirements of the Research Ethics Operating Procedure,