Activites Exempt from Research Ethics Board Review

The following are some sample activities, for demonstration purposes, that would be exempt from Research Ethics Board review.


Interaction with individuals who are not the focus of the research

Collecting information from authorized personnel to release information or data in the ordinary course of their employment about organizations, policies, procedures, professional practices or statistical reports.

Research that relies exclusively on publicly available information

Information legally accessible to public and protected by law, and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Observation of people in public places

  • If there is no interaction/intervention involved by the researcher.
  • If they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • If dissemination of research results does not allow identification of individuals.

Secondary use of anonymous information

Research data that does not lead to “identifiable information” if linked with other data “Information that may reasonably be expected to identify and individual, alone or in combination with other available information, is considered identifiable information” (TCPS 2, p.56).

Quality assurance and quality improvement studies

Program evaluation activities, and performance reviews, or testing within normal educational requirements when used exclusively for assessment, management or improvement purposes” (e.g. staff performance reviews, evaluation in academic or professional training, data collection for internal/external organizational reports, etc.)

Creative practice activities, in and of themselves

The interpretation of a work or works of arts by an artist, as well as the study of how a work of art is generated.