Research governance can be defined as the broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that exist to achieve and continuously improve research quality across all aspects of healthcare in the UK and worldwide. For the purposes of research governance, ‘research’ means the attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods.

Research governance applies to everyone connected to health and social care (this means any health-related research which involves humans, their tissue and/or data), whether as a chief/principal investigator, care professional, researcher, employer or as support staff. If you are involved in research of this kind it is important that you are aware of your obligations throughout the process. The UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research sets out the responsibilities and standards that apply to work managed within the formal research context.

If you need help to decide whether your project is classified as research you can refer to the Health Research Authority decision tool.

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