Do I need governance approvals?

Research governance approvals are the organisational approval that you need to conduct research within an organisation. They are a very practical evaluation of your research to make sure that it can be delivered by the organisation. This involves ensuring that there is appropriate insurance in place, that they themselves are protecting their own patients/ participants in your research and that there are governance arrangements in place for the delivery, for example appropriate procedures and documentation.

When conducting research within the NHS, these approvals are sought through appointed Research and Delivery offices (see link below). These are much easier to find in secondary care than primary care, so you may need to contact your NIHR Local Clinical Research Network (who may also have a community pharmacy research champion) to find out who to contact for research governance in primary care.

The big potential barrier for governance approval depends on where you are employed and where you want to conduct your research. If these are different (as in mine and Lindsay’s case) then you either need a ‘Research Passport’ or an honorary contract with the organisation where you are planning to conduct the research.

I should also point out that there is an order to this, you cannot seek governance approval without first having ethical approval for your research study. However, you can of course be preparing both applications in parallel which is absolutely required if you are to keep the time taken for approvals to be as short as possible.

You can find contacts for Research Governance in Research and Delivery offices in secondary care here:

For you local clinical research network see here:

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