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NHS Research Ethics Service

Local Research Ethics committee

All medical research in the UK is regulated via the National Health Service, and ethics applications are reviewed by a Local Research Ethics Committee of the National Research Ethics Service. At the time of writing (March 2010), the National Research Ethics Service is under the umbrella of the National Patient Safety Agency.

Information on the NRES applications process is available from


Is your project defined as research?

Some evaluations of technology usage, even if carried out in a clinical environment, may be considered by the NHS to be 'audit and service evaluation' rather than research. In that case, no NHS research ethics approval will be required. The following leaflet provides more detailed advice to help assess whether your study may fall into this classification: Defining Research: NRES guidance to help you decide if your project requires review by a Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 0987 December 2009)

This booklet is available online at: