Following the submission of a request for ethics approval and its evaluation by the REB, one of the following decisions may be issued:
- Approved: The project is approved and an ethics certificate is issued. Recruitment and data collection may begin as outlined in the application. Generally speaking, ethics approval applies for one year. However, any modification to the project must first be approved by the appropriate REB before the changes can be implemented. A Renewal Report for ongoing projects must be submitted. A maximum of four annual renewals may be submitted for one same project, as approvals may be valid for a total of five consecutive years.
- Approved – Partial: Part of the project is approved (recruitment and data collection may begin for that specific part) but the other part of the project requires additional review and/or documentation, which will need to be addressed further, before approval for the full approval can be issued.
- Revisions required: The project requires some clarifications/revisions. The REB will provide the researcher with written feedback outlining its concerns. Ethics approval will be granted and an ethics certificate issued once the feedback has been satisfactorily addressed.
- Resubmission required: There are major ethical concerns or the file is deemed incomplete by the REB. The project cannot be approved as submitted and a complete resubmission of the request is required. The REB will provide the researcher with a summary of the concerns, along with an invitation to meet with the REB, its Chair and/or a Protocol Officer to discuss the concerns. Following this meeting, a revised ethics request (including appendices) must be submitted for evaluation by the REB.
- Refused: Ethics approval of the project is refused following the ethics review. The REB will provide the researcher with the reasons for the refusal.