Research Centre
Research Administration
Research Administration

Research Ethics


Health Research Ethics Board (HREB)

All research at Covenant Health must be reviewed by a Health Information Act (HIA) designated ethics board. Covenant Health utilizes the HREB at the University of Alberta, in accordance with a Tri-partite agreement between Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, and the University of Alberta.

The HREB utilizes the Alberta Research Information Services ARISE system to review research projects.  Resources include a working ‘Sandbox’ to trial the system, templates and guidance documents, and regularly held workshops. Information is available for these on the Research Integrity Support office (formerly Research Ethics Office or REO) site. 

Instructions for requesting Connect Care access if board of record is HREB.

Provincial Ethics Harmonization Initiative

In March 2014, Covenant Health participated with our ACRC partners in signing a provincial reciprocity agreement. Although the primary ethics board for Covenant Health research remains at the University of Alberta HREB, ethics reviews from other Health Information Act (HIA) designated boards in Alberta will be accepted as equivalent. This is important for Covenant Health researchers who have an academic association with (e.g., University of Calgary), and who intend to conduct research at Covenant Health facilities. Previous to this agreement, these researchers would have had to apply to two boards (e.g., the University of Alberta HREB and the University of Calgary HREBA), where now only one application is required.

HIA designated boards include:

Confused about where to apply for your research project?  Access a "Where to Apply" document, or reference the Alberta Innovates website.


Tri-Council Policy Statement, Version 2 (TCPS2)

The TCPS 2 is the official policy statement for the Government of Canada tri-councils, and is used by all ethics board to inform research reviews.  Go to the latest version (2018) of the TCPS2 

Take the new TCPS 2: CORE-2022 (Course on Research Ethics)  recommended for new researchers 


Health Ethics Guide

Covenant Health is a member of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, and follows the Health Ethics Guide, 3rd ed., released in 2012 and available for free download in .pdf.  

If you have concerns about complying with the Health Ethics Guide and/or require assistance with understanding the Guide, you can contact the Covenant Health Ethics Centre.


Quality Improvement & Program Evaluation

Clinicians and staff undertaking program and/or quality improvement projects that may or will impact patients or residents (privacy implications, care experience, etc.) are encouraged to complete the ARECCI Ethics Assessment Tool

ARECCI is a network of practitioners, agencies and organizations dedicated to the evolution and implementation of the ARECCI framework and tools to fill a gap in ethics reviews.

If you are undertaking a quality improvement or evaluation project, the ARECCI guides and tools are available to establish any ethical risk. Click here for the ARECCI Guidelines for Quality Improvement and Evaluation Projects


Quality vs Research Projects

If you are unsure on whether your project is research or a quality project, access a GUIDE outlining the differences.  If you are still unsure, you can submit your project details to Charmaine Kabatoff, University of Alberta REB Consultant at 492-0302 or and request a written determination which you can submit to the CHRC office at