HSE Research Governance Framework

The HSE National Framework for the Governance, Management and Support of Health Research (RGMS Framework) articulates the requirements for appropriate governance and management of research in health services.  

Health Research in Ireland takes place within a very complex regulatory and legislated environment, and staff involved in research need to be supported to comply with the requirement in order to guarantee public trust.  

RGMS Framework Principles 

  • Research activity needs to be registered to enable coordination of local functions engaged in research governance. 
  • Projects should be risk assessed before they commence and the level of oversight should be proportionate to the risk.   
  • The organisations responsible for legal, data protection, insurance and regulatory compliance should be identified up front. 
  • Both the host institution and the research ethics committee have a role in research governance, and their roles is distinct and complementary.  
  • Proportionate oversight should take place through the life cycle of the project, not just before project start. 
  • Research participants and patients are key partners in the research process and their opinions and needs should be considered throughout. 

Scope of the RGMS Framework  

The RGMS Framework applies to all health research hosted by HSE or HSE-funded services involving staff, service users or their families and carers, their data, or their samples.  

Other activities such as clinical audits, standard service evaluations, public health work or advanced health analytics routinely carried out by the HSE and its funded organisations for the purpose of discharging their legal obligations for the planning and delivery of health and social health care services, are outside the scope of this framework.

Key roles and responsibilities in the governance and management of research.  

The RGMS Framework also includes a description of the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the research governance and management process.

Implementation of the RGMS Framework  

The implementation of the RGMS Framework will require a significant process of reform in the way we deal with research in the HSE. The following projects of national scale have commenced and are currently ongoing:

  1. Reform of the HSE Research Ethics Committee System 
  2. Develop institutional Capacity for research governance and support services for research 
  3. Roll out of the National Electronic Research Management System 
  4. Establish the National Committee for the Governance, Management and Support of Research
  5. Develop research related policies and standardised codes of practice for research in the HSE

Do you have a question about the RGMS Framework?  

Please submit your question using the form on our RGMS Framework FAQ page.

Answers will be regularly published here.

Do you want to feedback on the RGMS Framework?  

Recognising that the implementation of the framework will require a significant process of change and that lessons will be learned along the way, the framework will be reviewed and amended on an annual basis over 2022 – 2025. If you want to offer feedback to contribute to this process, please use the form below.


HSE National Framework for the Governance, Management and Support of Health Research 


PPT presentation of HSE National Framework for the Governance, Management and Support of Health Research 


Video of the Launch of the HSE National Framework for the Governance, Management and Support of Health Research 9th Sept 2021 

Link to video