All post-approval (any submission completed following initial approval of a research study) forms are available on, and must be submitted via, ROMEO. The office of Human Research Ethics will not accept online submissions (initial and post-approval forms) unless:
The submission will not be accepted for review if these conditions are not met. These guidelines are in conformity with requirements for continuing ethical review as set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement, and in compliance with regulations governing clinical trials (Health Canada regulations for the investigational use of drugs, radiopharmaceuticals, biologics, natural health products and medical devices), ICH GCP E6, and where relevant, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
A formal approval letter will only be issued for the following post approval submissions:
An Acknowledgment of Receipt email will be issued for the following submissions:
An Acknowledgment of Receipt email will NOT be issued for CER Form submissions. The sender is instructed to check ROMEO that this submission has been processed and document “proof of submission” to indicate on their records that the document has been submitted to the HSREB.
Any post-approval form that is not submitted directly by the PI requires a separate Letter of Attestation. A Letter of Attestation is completed by the PI authorizing the submission. An Attestation Letter must be included as an attachment. All Letters of Attestation must include the following information:
Changes to PI and Co-I require submission of a formal revision request in Romeo. The following documentation is required:
Changes in study personnel (non-PI/Co-I) may be submitted via email to the ORE. If changes in personnel are submitted via email the email must come from the Principal Investigator or the request will not be acknowledged. Send any non-PI/Co-I personnel change requests to: email@example.com
An email from PI with the following information:
All changes to the planning or conduct of approved studies are considered amendments and must be submitted to the relevant ethics board for prior review and approval to ensure the research remains ethically sound. The Principal Investigator (PI) must ensure that amendments are submitted to the board for review and that written approval is received prior to implementation.
The HSREB/NMREB Chair or designee reviews the Amendment submission to determine the appropriate level of HSREB/NMREB review required. Delegated review may be done when the proposed changes are minor or involve no more than minimal risk. The REB Chair or designee has the authority to direct any delegated review request to the Full Board for review.
HSREB Full Board review may be required when the proposed change(s) represents more than minimal risk and is determined by the HSREB Chair to require more intense scrutiny by the Full REB, or is required by the regulatory body. Examples that may require full board review may include:
Amendments that qualify for full Board review are generally reviewed at the next HSREB Full Board meeting. You will be informed if your Amendment submission requires Full Board review.
Health Canada “No Objection” letters (NOLs) or equivalent must be included with Amendment submissions for regulated clinical trials when applicable. When applicable, REB approval for an Amendment will not be granted until the NOL or equivalent Health Canada authorization (ITA, NOA, etc.) is received.
Following the Amendment review, REB recommendations regarding Amendment submissions are communicated to the PI (and study staff listed in ROMEO as “research support staff) in writing. The PI will have an opportunity to submit additional information and/or a revised study documents that addresses any issues raised in the HSREB review.
The HSREB generally does not consider sub-studies, ancillary studies, rollover studies, continuation studies, or extension studies to be Amendments. You are encouraged to consult the Office of Research Ethics Officer responsible for your study prior to preparing a submission for this type of change, to ensure you prepare the correct type of submission. The Ethics Officer will facilitate obtaining a decision from the HSREB Chair/Co-Chair.
The Office of Research Ethics will NOT accept this submission unless:
Required Documentation (in addition to Amendment Form)
Revised Study Document Requirements
All revised study documents must have version dates (e.g., dd/mmm/yyyy) in the footer of each page. Version dates identify the latest edition of study documents. A new version date is required each time the document is modified. For example, if a study document requires further modification based on comments received during the REB review process, the version date must be modified to reflect the most recent edition of that study document.
Please also ensure to submit one copy with tracked changes and a clean copy of all revised study document(s). If changes are required for the Application Form (also considered the “Western Protocol”):
Please see the Unanticipated Problem Reporting-Protocol Deviation (PD) guideline document to determine which PDs require reporting to the REB. If the submission does not meet the reporting requirements for events, the submission will be withdrawn. Please submit your report in ROMEO.
The term protocol deviation is not well defined by regulations or guidelines. Deviations are identified as any unanticipated or unintentional divergence or departure from the expected conduct of an approved study that is not consistent with the approved Research Ethics Board (REB protocol or protocol procedures). Deviations are different from amendments in that they generally apply to a single occurrence or participant and are not intended at the time to modify the entire protocol. Protocol Deviations are unanticipated issues and they include unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal health information that is not in compliance with the approved study protocol, jurisdictional legislation or its regulation.
a) Article 4.5.4 of the ICH-GCP:
"The investigator may implement a deviation from, or a change of, the protocol to eliminate an immediate hazard(s) to trial subjects without prior IRB/IEC approval/favourable opinion. As soon as possible, the implemented deviation or change, the reasons for it, and, if appropriate, the proposed protocol amendment(s) should be submitted:
b) Article 4.5.4 of the ICH-GCP:
"The investigator should not implement any deviation from, or changes of the protocol without agreement by the sponsor and prior review and documented approval/favourable opinion from the IRB/IEC of an amendment, except where necessary to eliminate an immediate hazard(s) to trial subjects or when the change(s) involves only logistical or administrative aspects of the trial (e.g. change in monitor(s), change of telephone number(s))."
Please see the Unanticipated Problem Reporting - Adverse Events guideline document to determine which Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) require reporting to the REB. If the submission does not meet the reporting requirements for events that constitute Unanticipated Problem, the submission will be withdrawn. Please submit your report in ROMEO.
Only those local (internal) serious adverse events that meet the definition of an unanticipated problem (i.e., unexpected, related and involving greater risk – see guidance document) are required to be reported to the REB. Local serious adverse events that meet the definition of an unanticipated problem should be reported to the REB promptly, but in any case no later than seven (7) days subsequent to the occurrence of the local event.
Western University’s REBs will ONLY accept individual case reports of non-local (external) SAE's if they are unanticipated problems (see guidance document). In the limited circumstances where an Individual Non-Local (external) SAE constitutes an unanticipated problem the report should be submitted to the REB as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event, no later than within seven (7) days after the Investigator has received the report from the sponsor.
DO NOT use this form if what you are submitting is making any changes to the approved Application Form (also considered the “Western Protocol”) or any supporting documentation.
Updated Investigational Product Documentation (e.g., Investigator Brochures, Product Monographs, Device Manuals, etc.) that do not alter the benefit:risk assessment of the study should not be submitted. Only if the updated safety information requires a change to the Letter(s) of Information/Consent and/or protocol, should it be submitted to the office of Human Research Ethics as an Amendment.
Per article 11.7 (TCPS2) A safety monitoring plan may (but need not) include the establishment of a data safety monitoring board (DSMB) or data safety committee (DSC).
A DSMB is normally a multidisciplinary, expert advisory group that is responsible for safeguarding the interests of participants, by reviewing emerging data, assessing the safety and efficacy of trial procedures, and monitoring the overall conduct of a trial. Researchers must indicate, in their proposal for REB review, whether they or a DSMB will be communicating any new information to the REB over the course of the trial. Researchers must ensure that DSMB reports are sent to REBs in a timely manner.