Institutional Approvals

Through a formal agreement with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health, HREB is the conjoint board for all University health researchers (faculty and trainees) as well as researchers from, or studies involving the resources of, Alberta Health Services (Edmonton and North Regions) and Covenant Health (province-wide). HREB operates as two panels (Biomedical and Health) and is designated under the Alberta Health Information Act to review research involving health information.

Alberta Health Services (Edmonton and North)

Operational Approval - All Clinical studies utilizing AHS property or resources must have operational approval. Each study must be reviewed and approved by the affected sites or department’s approver. This approval is for AHS sites or departments to manage Risk, HR and Cost.

Administrative Approval - The Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre (NACTRC) is the designated administrative office for all clinical trials affecting AHS and the University of Alberta. Administrative Approval is the process of obtaining approval from the Institution where the research will take place. No clinical trial can take place until Administrate approval is granted. NACTRC is primarily responsible to confirm:

  • HREB approval has been obtained
  • Operational approvals have been obtained from impacted AHS sites or departments
  • Contracts have been finalized (if applicable)
  • Financial accounts have been set-up (if applicable)

Administrative Approval is automatically sent electronically from the NACTRC office once each of the requirements have been met.

Covenant Health (Province-wide)

All research at Covenant Health requires ethics approval through the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) and operational/administrative approval for Covenant Health, facilitated through the Covenant Health Research Centre (CHRC).

Operational/administrative approval is required when any Covenant Health facilities, resources, patients/residents, staff/physicians, data or health records are utilized. The recruitment or screening of Covenant Health patients/residents and/or staff/physicians on a Covenant Health site is also considered a research activity, even if the research study is taking place at a non-Covenant Health site.

The CHRC operational/administrative process involves the completion of a 2-page form.  All signatures and approvals are secured through the CHRC on the researcher’s behalf. Any clinical study agreements will be directed through the Covenant Health Risk Management/Legal department for review.  And any Lab budget/requirements will be directed to Lab Services for review and approval. 

For assistance with any of these processes, please contact the Covenant Health Research Centre, 780.735.2274 or via email at: research@covenanthealth.ca

The Covenant Health Research Centre (CHRC), formerly known as the Caritas Research Centre, leads Covenant Health's efforts to integrate research, develop research partnerships, facilitate inquiry and promote innovation. Specifically the CHRC: consults with researchers and coordinators; maintains a database of all approved research; produces and distributes the Covenant Health Research publication; hosts research education workshops and knowledge transfer opportunities as well as research related events; assists researchers with obtaining Covenant Health research grants; assists researchers with obtaining Covenant Health operational/administrative approval for research studies.