PHO applies an integrated approach for ethics review, where all evidence-generating initiatives receive ethical scrutiny, proportionate to level of risk. Step one in the ethics review process is the innovative Risk Screening Tool (RST), an online form developed by PHO. Investigators complete the RST's 20-item checklist to achieve an ethics risk score that helps establish the required level of ethics scrutiny and the next steps for ethics review.
The RST is the product of an extensive design, analysis and evaluation process. Development began with a draft tool and expert appraisal, followed by internal and external stakeholder validation, a one year pilot and revisions after another year of testing in the field.
The RST serves two main purposes:
PHO uses this tool in coordination with a comprehensive review process to ensure that projects are reviewed in compliance with the TCPS 2 (2014) Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research involving Humans and other applicable regulations and guidelines.
For more information about the development of PHO’s Risk Screening Tool, please see A risk screening tool for ethical appraisal of evidence-generating initiatives or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.