Research Governance

Research is defined by the Department of Health as ‘the attempt to derive generalizable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods’.

This inclusive definition will cover any activity that involves the collection of information to derive new knowledge, either directly or indirectly, from or about individuals who may be service users, their carers, friends and relatives, or employees of the Council or its contracted agencies.

The term ‘research governance’ encompasses the broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that exist to achieve and continuously improve research quality across all aspects of health and social care.

Why do we need a Research Governance Process?

All health and social care providers have a duty of care to service users. We have a duty to children, their families and carers and for staff who might be the subjects of any research or where research may affect the quality of care or educational services they receive. The process aims to ensure that research respects participant’s rights, safety and wellbeing values diversity within society; and meets ethical standards.

Governance is essential in ensuring the public have confidence in, and benefit from quality research. Establishing a research culture where excellence is promoted and where there is visible and strong leadership is essential. Key aspects of a quality research culture include are:

  • Respect for participants’ dignity, rights, safety and well-being
  • Valuing the diversity within society
  • Personal and scientific integrity
  • Leadership
  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Clear and supportive management

Research should be used as a valuable learning tool that will help support best practice and improve the quality of service and care provided by the Council. Effective governance will also help ensure that staff and service user time is not wasted on poorly designed research projects from which little or no valid conclusions can be drawn.

The Children’s Services Research Governance document below explains the process for undertaking research that involves children, young people and families and/or Children’s Services data or information.

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Last updated: 15 June 2017

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