Metrics for Western's Research Ethics Boards

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Western’s Research Ethics Boards (REBs) – The Health Sciences Research Ethics Board (HSREB) and the Non-Medical Research Ethics Board (NMREB) – and the Office of Human Research Ethics are a service to the University and local hospitals. These metrics allow us to target education in order to increase the quality of submissions, recruit reviewers from underrepresented departments, and look at internal administrative processes for quality improvement and resource allocation. 


In 2020

How many applications did Western's REBs process?

Initial Applications

1144

Continuing Ethics Reviews

2623


Amendments

1793

Reportable
Events

789

Average response times

The following data reflects the average workdays for the Health Sciences and Non Medical REBs to issue recommendations and the average researcher response times

HSREB Recommendations
9 days
Researcher Response
11 days
 
NMREB Recommendations
10 days
Researcher Response
15 days
 

Did Western’s REBs meet their posted initial review timelines?

HSREB

Posted
3-4 weeks
Achieved
92%
Average
11 days

 
 
 

NMREB

Posted
2-3 weeks
Achieved
50%
Average
18 days


*NMREB times were slightly slower due to challenges with reviewer availability. OHRE is working with the NMREB to review process in order to improve this metric.

How long did approval take?


HSREB Approvals
(delegated)

  • 36%  
  • 40%  
  • 14%  
  • 9%  
 

 


HSREB Approvals
(full board)

  • 2%  
  • 48%  
  • 28%  
  • 22%  
 

 


NMREB Approvals
(delegated and full board)



  • 21%  
  • 57%  
  • 9%  
  • 13%  
 

 

What were some common reasons for longer review times?

  • Initial applications incomplete when submitted (e.g., missing documents, missing information, incorrect signatories).
  • Research plan misaligned with institutional policies/procedures.
  • Inconsistencies within the application.
  • Logistics not fully conceptualized (insufficient detail about each of the research activities to allow 3rd party replication).