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Release of the 2nd Edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, or “TCPS 2”

Ottawa (November 29, 2010)

A message from the three federal research agencies – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), or “the Agencies” ...

The Presidents of the Agencies are pleased to announce the release of the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2).

The TCPS was developed by the Agencies in 1998 to serve as a single reference document for all research involving humans conducted under the auspices of institutions eligible for Agency funding. The Agencies subsequently established the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (the Panel) to ensure that the Policy evolves to keep pace with changes in research and society at large. Based on a decade of experience with the original Policy, TCPS 2 is the culmination of over two years of dialogue with the research community on draft revisions issued in 2008 and 2009. The Panel conducted cross-country consultation tours and reviewed nearly 2,000 pages of thoughtful comments from the research community. This public engagement was essential to producing a new edition of the TCPS that is a significant improvement on the original version.

TCPS 2 continues to be founded on respect for human dignity. It contains both updated and new material, including a consolidated set of core principles, clearer definitions, simplified articles, and new chapters on qualitative research, multi-jurisdictional research, and research involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. With today’s final approval, TCPS 2 replaces the 1st edition of the Policy as the official human research ethics policy of the Agencies. The release of TCPS 2 reaffirms the commitment of the Agencies to promoting the ethical conduct of research involving humans, and maintains Canada’s place as an international leader in the field of research ethics.

The Panel is offering a variety of tools to assist with the transition to TCPS 2. These include a number of companion documents to facilitate comparison between the original TCPS (1998) and TCPS 2 (2010). Please consult the Tables of Concordance, the Highlights of TCPS 2 and FAQs posted on the Panel website. A new, interactive online tutorial is scheduled to launch in February 2011. Other education initiatives under consideration include regional workshops for research ethics board (REB) members and researchers in partnership with institutions, and a series of webinars addressing common issues of interest to the research community.

Please consult the Panel’s website for additional information on the Policy, on upcoming education activities, and to download your copy of TCPS 2.

Secretariat on Research Ethics
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H5