HRA Approvals Update

HRA Approval is the process for the NHS in England that brings together the assessment of governance and legal compliance, undertaken by dedicated HRA staff, with the independent REC opinion provided through the UK research ethics service. It replaces the need for local checks of legal compliance and related matters by each participating NHS R and D office in England (previously called R and D approval).

Since the 31 March 2016, HRA Approval is the process for applying for approvals for all project-based research in the NHS led from England.

If your study requires NHS ethical review you will need to apply for HRA Approval which will include NHS ethical review. You will also need to seek confirmation of capacity and capability from participating NHS organisations in England as outlined in the HRA Approval letter.

Studies that do not require NHS ethical review but require permission from participating NHS organisations in England will need to apply for HRA Approval. You will also need to seek confirmation of capacity and capability from participating NHS organisations in England as outlined in the HRA Approval letter.

If your study is not taking place in NHS organisations in England but you do require a NHS ethical review you do not need to apply for HRA Approval.

HRA Approval applies only to the NHS in England. If your study has sites in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales the existing process of submission of SSI Forms, local review and NHS permission continues to apply to the NHS sites in the devolved administrations. 

There is guidance available on the HRA website, please familiarise yourself with these and do contact us if you need any help.

You can read more about the development and implementation of HRA Approval on the HRA website. In addition the HRA have released a Q&A document to address many of the queries researchers are likely to have.  The document can be found on the HRA website