DEP: 2.10 Ethical Issues in Research

All research projects carried out in the Psychology Department should meet the BPS requirements for ethical research. No project may be carried out without formal approval from the relevant ethics committee(s); these include the Psychology Department Ethics’ Committee, Research Governance and, if appropriate, a Local Research Ethics’ NHS Committee (LREC).

Ethical issues in research are introduced to trainees applied research methods training in Year 1 and further guidance can be found in the Code of Ethics and Conduct published by the British Psychological Society. Prior to conducting any research trainees are required to submit online ethics’ committee and research governance applications which must be approved before the research can start. All forms related to ethics’ applications can be accessed at: click here

Research Governance

Once an ethical application has been approved, it will be sent to the Research Governance Office (RGO). The aim of the RGO is to provide researchers with sponsorship and insurance for their research projects. The University of Southampton stipulates that any member of the university should not carry out research without having received confirmation from the RGO of their sponsorship and insurance.

Further details can be found at:

DBS Check

Edpsych trainees do not need to attach a copy of their DBS check to their ethics application(s).

Risk Assessment

For every ethics application submitted to the Psychology Department, trainees are asked to enclose a Risk Assessment form. This form should outline potential risks to researchers and participants. British Psychology Society (BPS) Ethical guidelines and support can be found at: click here

Local Research Ethics’ Committees (LRECs)

If research involves participants or resources linked to the NHS then in addition to going through internal ethics and research governance procedures a further application to the local LREC is needed. An LREC application must be submitted if the proposed research participants fall into one of the following categories1:

    • They are patients or users of the NHS.
    • They are individuals who have some relationship to users of the NHS (such as cares of patients).
    • They have access to past or current information about NHS patients (including “data, organs or other bodily material, foetal material and IVF.”).
    • They have recently died on NHS premises.

Or if the research involves:

  • Using NHS facilities or premises.
  • Using NHS staff.

1 This information was taken from United Bristol Healthcare NHS.