BACKGROUND: A Local Research Ethics Committee (LREC) may not be appropriate for reviewing research projects involving trainees as participants. AIMS: This study aimed to obtain views of LREC members regarding education research being reviewed by LRECS. METHODS: A questionnaire describing six medical education research projects was sent to an opportunistic sample of LRECs. Respondents were asked to indicate the type of ethics review and consent that would be required for each project. Free text comments were also invited. RESULTS: The majority of the 68 respondents felt that committee review (LREC or institutional) was required for contacting trainees to obtain taped or written interviews. Most felt that some form of consent was appropriate for all the studies. Themes arising from the free text responses were that: there were concerns about this study itself; the requirements for ethical approval for education research should be no different from those of clinical research; there are problems defining 'research', 'audit' and 'course evaluation'; ethical approval should be acquired for education research but not through LRECs; the COREC system is over-complex; and, high standards of research have to be maintained. CONCLUSION: The majority of ethics committee members feel that most education research needs independent review but not necessarily by LRECs.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|