Seeking Approvals: Approval for access to existing collections

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If proposing to use an existing collection of data or tissues, it is likely that an application to the database or tissue custodian will be required. The requirements and process will differ, depending on the custodian and advice should be sought from the data, tissue bank or Pathology archive in question. The NCRI have created a Template to facilitate the sharing of samples and associated data (1st resource below). This document provides a template for developing an access policy as well as a template Data and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) these are based on good practice and can be tailored to suit individual needs.

An NHS REC may give generic ethics approval for Research Databases or Research Tissue Banks. If generic ethics approval is in place, this can extend to specific projects receiving data or tissues from the bank. This means that data and tissues can be used from these banks without the need for further ethics committee review.

More information is available in Access to Data/Tissues and Transfer of Data/Tissues.

Information on access to NHS records is available in Should consent be sought?