The Research Ethics Board of Cape Breton University operates to ensure that all research involving humans adheres to a moral code of practice. That moral code is expressed in the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) latest edition.
The aim of the REB is to ensure that researchers uphold the rights and values of human participants involved in their research, using the amount of risk involved in the research as a key determinant. Research that is minimal risk generally receives expedited REB review while research that is more than minimal risk receives full board review. The aim of REB review is to ensure that any harms or risk of harm to humans involved in research is outweighed by the benefits of conducting the research.
Researchers are advised to consult the TCPS to gain a deeper understanding of the potential for risk of harm to humans involved in their research. As a first step, the TCPS defines minimal risk as follows:
“For the purposes of this Policy, a “minimal risk” research is defined as research in which the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research is no greater than those encountered by the participant in those aspects of his or her everyday life that relate to the research” (TCPS 2.8, Draft Second Edition).