Published: 07-03-2017 09:41 | Updated: 06-12-2017 12:28

Changes on the way – six ethical review boards to become one

From 1 July 2018 some major changes will be made regarding Swedish ethical reviews. The Ministry of Education and Research has proposed that a new organisation come into effect on that date. Today’s six regional ethical review boards will be brought together under a new authority, the Ethical Review Authority, where the boards will be administrative regions.

Helena Hallgren Lönn.Applications will be submitted digitally instead of on paper and cases will be passed to the region that has time via en electronic administration system.

The aim is to increase efficiency and ensure more uniform application of rules.

“Procedures and assessment methods tend to differ a little at present,” says Helena Hallgren Lönn, Administrative Director at the regional ethical review board in Stockholm.

When the changes come into effect KI will no longer be the host authority.

“One advantage of that is that it will be clearer that we are independent of the research community,” Helena Hallgren Lönn goes on.

Karolinska Institutet’s acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Anders Ekbom wants to get a full picture of the changes when the draft proposal lands on his desk before commenting on them in detail. But he can see a distinct advantage with the present system where KI is the host university since the regional ethical review board in Stockholm has good local knowledge.

“At the same time I see a need for a more uniform assessment system at the ethical review boards,” he says.

Text: Ann Patmalnieks and Madeleine Svärd Huss

Update 5 December 2017: New ethical review agency in place from 2019