Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Research Ethics Committee



Within this page you can link to information on Guidelines on the functioning of Tusla’s Research Ethics Committee, Information and Policy on how Tusla understands Consent and Research Dissemination as well as Guidelines on Data Protection for those undertaking Research in the Health Sector. Also Guidance for Research Participants under the Age of 18.

As part of the Research Strategy, Tusla is establishing a Research Ethics Committee (REC) and has published Guidelines for the functioning of the Committee.

These guidelines apply and REC review is required where the research relates to the following areas of the Agency’s responsibility:

  • Potential research participants identified from, or because of their past or present use of services provided by the Agency (including services provided under contract with the private, voluntary or community sectors).
  • Potential research participants identified because of their status as relatives or carers of past or present users of the Agency’s services.
  • Potential research participants identified because of their status as providers of the Agency’s services.

The principal ethics consideration of the REC will be given to ensuring the maximum benefit of the research whilst minimizing the risk of actual or potential harm. The procedures of the REC will seek to protect, as far as possible, all groups involved in the research, including participants, researchers and research teams throughout the lifecycle of the research (ESRC, 2015).

The Child and Family Agency REC will review research proposals in terms of their ethical appropriateness. This entails consideration of:

  • The design of the research
  • The outputs of the research
  • The proposed conduct of the research

Pending the establishment of a Reserch Ethics Committee, all potential researchers, internal and external, must contact the National Research Office and complete a Research Agreement prior to commencing any research. Research proposals are reviewed on a 6 weekly basis. Submissions must be received two weeks in advance.

Please contact the REC Administrator for a copy of the Research Ethics Review Standard Application Form (as of April 2019) and a schedule of REC meeting dates.  Only the April 2019 Form should be used by potential applicants. The form must be completed prior to commencing any research. Research proposals are reviewed on a six weekly basis. Submissions must be received three weeks in advance. Email: recadmin@tusla.ie


Consent is the giving of permission or agreement for an intervention, receipt or use of a service or participation in research following a process of communication about the proposed intervention. The National Consent Policy produced by the HSE in 2013 provides guidance to staffs employed in healthcare and social care settings on issues relating to consent.   Researchers should review these policies prior to submitting a Research Agreement to Tusla for ethical approval.

The Data Protection Commissioner provided guidance on research in the health sector in 2007.  Potential researchers should consult this guidance prior to submitting a research proposal to Tusla. 

Research Dissemination

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to provide a mechanism for the dissemination of research, information and data to all relevant stakeholders. This policy and procedure applies to all research that has been ethically approved by Tusla’s Research Ethics Committee which includes:  

  •          Research undertaken by researchers who are Tusla employees.
  •          Research undertaken by researchers who are external and not commissioned by Tusla.
  •          Research that is commissioned and/or sponsored by Tusla

Research and Dissemination policy.

Guidance for Research Participants Under the Age of 18

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