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Research and Innovation
Research Approval

Any research, funded and non-funded, involving Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon 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 Authority, its patients/clients/residents, and also includes research conducted in its affiliates and community-based organizations.

What is Operational Approval of Research?

Saskatchewan Health Authority Operational Approval process allows for the review and approval of research projects that impact or affects any Saskatoon resources. This includes all research projects conducted by Health Authority employees. There are two main components:

  • Proof of Ethical Approval – the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Boards provides the ethical review and approval. 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.
  • Saskatchewan Health Authority Department/Unit Impact Review – The purpose of this review is to identify which departments in Saskatoon 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 (Saskatchewan Health Authority 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 Saskatchewan Health Authority 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
Room 423
Ellis Hall
103 Hospital Drive
Saskatoon, SK  S7N 0W8

The "SHA Application for Operational  Approval to Conduct a Research Study - Saskatoon" 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 SHA 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.

Amended Approval

If a researcher has already received SHA (or SHR) approval for a research project and additional SKHA 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 SHA resources.

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.

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: telephone 306-655-1442 or email

Last Modified: Thursday, April 26, 2018 |
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