• Under NO circumstances should a research study requiring REC approval go ahead without first receiving a favourable opinion from a REC.
  • Any research study (and this includes research that is done by students and those in training programmes) that involves HSE patients (or their data or samples), HSE staff (or their data or samples) or HSE premises MUST HAVE a favourable opinion from a HSE REC prior to starting.

Details on Available RECs

At present studies involving multiple healthcare sites, require multiple REC approvals with the exception of Clinical Trials for Investigational Medicinal Products (CT-IMPs), Clinical Investigations with Medical Devices or studies involving ionising radiation. In these cases, a single approval can be sought from the National Research Ethics Committee (NREC) which commenced operations in May 2021. On a temporary basis, CT-IMPs can also be submitted to one of the 12 RECs that are approved by the Department of Health (DoH) to grant national or multi-site approval for this purpose until December 2021.

Find below details of RECs approving research projects outside the remit of the NREC.

If you need any advice on which Reference REC you should apply to please contact the R&D team ( – we do not provide REC review.

Internal HSE Approval Requirements

All studies should be also approved by the relevant Head of Service before they commence.

For studies in National and Corporate Services, please complete the HSE National and Corporate Research Approval Form and submit it to for review by HSE R&D. Once reviewed, it will be required to submit it for approval to the relevant Head of Service or Division.

Resources to support making a REC application

Information on Consent: Patient Consent

Guidance on Making REC Applications Research ethics application: Research ethics application: A guide for the novice researcher