Ethics FAQ

Ethics FAQ

How do I find out the numbers of my ethics certificates?

You should be able to obtain copies of Certificates of Approval from the Principal Investigator (usually your supervisor). If you are not able to do this, please contact the relevant Research Ethics Board.

I conducted research on human or animal subjects, but was told I didn’t need ethical approval, so I don’t have an ethics certificate. What should I do?

Please email as soon as possible with this information.

What is a ‘TCPS certificate’ and is it the same thing as an ethics certificate?

All graduate students are expected to complete the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) tutorial prior to filling out an ethics application. A certificate of completion is provided upon successfully completing this tutorial and you are expected to retain a copy of this certificate.

Other online tutorials such as the new "Course in Human Research Participant Protection" (CHRPP) also provide certificates of completion. These certificates should not be confused with the certificate of ethical approval.

You must successfully complete an application for ethical approval before you start your research. The Certificate number from a UBC Research Ethics Board that specifically approves your research must be included in the preface of your thesis or dissertation.

NOTE: The TCPS tutorial is administered separately from the UBC Ethics Office. The Ethics Office cannot provide you with a copy of the TCPS certificate. You must print it off when you complete the tutorial – you cannot go back later and obtain a copy.

My research was approved, but we didn’t get an ethics certificate. What should I do?

A certificate is always granted when a study has received approval.

Who can get online access to the certificate of approval?

Anyone who is listed as a study team member or a contact on the original ethics application has online access to the application and should be able to access the certificate of approval. It appears in the title section of the study home page under a link that says “Current approval certificate: [view]”.

The ethics certificate has expired so I can’t get a copy any more. What should I do?

The file is still online under the “inactive” tab on the researcher’s home page. Prior to 2006 (advent of the online system) the researcher was sent a hard copy of the certificate which should be kept for at least five years.

The certificates for my research are not in the online database, and we can’t find the original paper certificate. What should I do?

Contact the relevant Research Ethics Board. They will provide the number, or will email copy of the database record showing that the study was approved.