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Any research, funded and non-funded, involving Saskatoon Health Region resources and/or conducted in its facilities must receive formal "Operational Approval" before it may begin. This includes any research that utilizes the resources, data, programs and/or services of the Health Region, its patients/clients/residents, and also includes research conducted in its affiliates and community-based organizations.
For more information about obtaining SHR Operational Approval for Research, please contact the Research Approval Coordinator at:
Select the links or scroll down the page to view more information:
What is Operational Approval of Research?
Saskatoon Health Region Operational Approval process allows for the review and approval of research projects that impact or affects any Health Region resources. This includes all research projects conducted by Health Region employees. There are two main components:
- Proof of Ethical Approval – Saskatoon Health Region has an agreement with the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Boards to provide ethical review and approval for all research conducted in Saskatoon Health Region. As part of the Operational Approval process, researchers are required to provide a copy of the Certificate of Approval or Notice of Exemption from Ethics Review from the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board. The researcher is also required to submit a copy of their research ethics application.
- SHR Department/Unit Impact Review – The purpose of this review is to identify which Health Region departments are affected by the research and to determine each department’s ability to support the research. This information is collected together on the Operational Approval Application form (below).
How to Obtain Operational Approval
- The researcher completes the Operational Approval Application form. The Operational Approval Application form must be signed by the researcher. If the research is being conducted by a student, the Operational Approval Application form must be submitted under the name of the student’s research supervisor.
- All departments affected by the research are identified (SHR Department Impact Assessment) on the Operational Approval Application form. The researcher discusses the potential impact of the research study with the Manager or designate from each department. When the Manager or designate agrees to support the research, and matters such as cost recovery and protocol concerns, etc. have been addressed, the Manager or designate will provide their approval either by a written signature on the Operational Approval Application form OR by an email from their SHR email account. The researcher must obtain the approval of the Manager or designate for each department affected by their research before Operational Approval is granted.
Notification of Operational Approval
Forward the completed application forms electronically to:
or by mail to:
Research Approval Coordinator
Post Office Box 118
Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive
The "SHR Application for Operational Approval to Conduct a Research Study" is reviewed for completeness and accuracy. If all of the required information is provided, Operational Approval is usually granted within 3 - 5 workings days from our office receiving the complete application package. A letter indicating Operational Approval has been granted is emailed to the researcher, and a copy is emailed to all of the affected or impacted departments listed on the application form.
Notification of Study Closure
Once all data collection procedures involving SHR resources / services have been completed as per the study protocol, the study is considered closed. Please inform the Research Approval Coordinator once the study has closed.
The Research Approval Coordinator will send an acknowledgement of the closure to the departments affected by the study. The Research Approval Coordinator will also begin the final billing process to facilitate the affected department(s) reimbursement of study costs.
If a researcher has already received SHR approval for a research project and additional SHR departments/services/resources will be required or impacted by the study, they are to complete the Application for Amended Approval (MS Word) form. All additional departments are identified and approval is obtained from the manager(s).
Once completed, submit the form to the Research Approval Coordinator and an Amended Approval letter will be sent out to the researcher.
Quality Assurance/Improvement, Program Evaluation and Research
Projects considered quality assurance/improvement or program evaluation may not require operational approval. Operational approval may be required depending on the scope of the project and the impact on SHR resources.
The University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board has developed guidelines to assist researchers to differentiate research from quality assurance/improvement and program evaluation.
In some instances the U of S REB may waive ethics approval and will provide the researcher with a letter of exemption. If the project has had ethics approval waived but still requires operational approval, documentation of this waiver must be provided with the Operational Approval application.
Health Record Retention Form
Health Canada regulations require that all records of patients participating in pharmaceutical clinical trial research are maintained for 25 years following completion of the trial (Health Canada, Food and Drug Regulations, C.05.012).
The SHR Health Record Retention form ensures that health records of SHR patients/clients/residents participating in clinical trial research are not destroyed. Click here for form guidelines (PDF).
The form is available through SHR printing services:
Or you may contact Research Services at (306) 655-1442 for assistance.
If you are unclear whether or not your project is research OR if you require operational approval, contact the Research Approval Coordinator for further assistance: