Welsh Government

Research Ethics in Wales

The Division for Social Care and Health Research is responsible for developing research ethics policy in Wales.

The Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committee (GAfREC) was published on 1 September 2011. This is a harmonised edition which sets out the principles, requirements and standards for Research Ethics Committees including their remit, composition, functions, management and accountability.

This policy applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Under these arrangements, it is no longer necessary for some NHS research that previously required Research Ethics Committee review to receive an ethical opinion from a REC.

Governance arrangements for Research Ethics Committees: A harmonised edition - including Erratum


Health Research Authority

The Welsh Government has an agreement with the Health Research Authority (HRA) to provide a number of specific functions in Wales relating to providing advice and assistance to Welsh Research Ethics Committees. This ensures common standards and operating procedures are developed and applied across all Research Ethics Committees in the UK.

More information about Health Research Authority can be found at: www.hra.nhs.uk

Please note: References to NISCHR in a policy context now refer to the Welsh Government’s Research and  Development Division. Documents will be updated in due course.