PHREB sets standards, procedures for Ethics Review Committees

"An effective human research protection system requires oversight and proper recognition of research ethics review committees (ERCs)," said Dr. Cecilia V. Tomas, Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) Sub- Committee Chair on Standards and Accreditation during theĀ 

30th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel last March 16, 2012.

To ensure that ERCs are efficient, effective and independent in their function, PHREB launched two important programs: a Registration Program that will monitor ERCs performance and needs for quality review assistance and an Accreditation Program that will check ERCs compliance on established protocols.

The accreditation process involves four stages: the application of duly registered ERC, self-assessment of ERC to determine if they satisfy all the seven criteria of PHREB, accreditation teams assessment visit, and issuance of accreditation certificate.

For an ERC to pass the accreditation, it has to meet the following criteria: functionality of the structure and membership, adequacy of the Standard Operating Procedures and consistency in its implementation, adherence to international, national and institutional guidelines and policies, completeness of the review process, adequacy of the after-review procedures, adequacy of administrative support for ERC activities, and efficient and systematic recording and archiving.

The initial run of the programs will be at first voluntary among the officially registered ERCs.

"Hopefully, after this launch we will receive applications from ERCs all over the country and establish our pool of accreditors," concluded Dr. Tomas.