Skip to main content

Table 1 Examples and types of health and medical research exempted from ethics reviews

From: Exempting low-risk health and medical research from ethics reviews: comparing Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands

ExemptionAustraliaUnited KingdomUnited States of AmericaNetherlands
Existing data/specimenExisting collection of data or records that contain only non-identifiable dataPreviously collected, non-identifiable tissue samplesSecondary research use of identifiable biospecimens (subject to criteria)Exempt
Questionnaire or surveyFilling in a form, participating in a street survey (where those are no more than inconvenience) Educational tests, survey procedures (subject to criteria)Exempt, unless it imposes rules of behaviour (e.g. required to be done repeatedly) or topic is sensitive (e.g. suicide, abortion)
Interviews  Interview procedures (subject to criteria)Exempt, unless it imposes rules of behaviour (e.g. required to be done repeatedly) or topic is sensitive (e.g. suicide, abortion)
Post-marketing studies Healthcare market research conducted by professional market researchers e.g. collecting data on adverse effects of medicines already available on the market
Evaluation of public benefit or service programme  e.g. procedures for obtaining benefits, alternatives, changes in payment levels 
Randomised controlled trials   May be exempt if meets the exemption rule below (see ‘other’ category)
Research with staff in their professional role Research involving NHS staff acting in their professional roles  
Audit and service evaluationaAudit and service evaluation  
Other exemptionsGiving up time to participate in research” (example of an inconvenience)  Medical/scientific research that does not expose persons to treatment, or require persons to follow certain behavioural rules
  1. a Dealt with outside of the National Statement (see below)