Obtaining Operational Approval

Research & Innovation

Once Research Ethics Board (REB) approval has been obtained for a research study, the appropriate research administration team receives the research study information to draft and process the AHS operational approval. The research team may be contacted to provide additional information.

AHS operational approval requests are submitted on behalf of the researcher by:

Assessing the impact of research activities in AHS operational areas

AHS supports the creation of operational areas where innovation and research are integrated with care. This integration should enhance opportunities for patients and their families, our staff and should generate evidence that can enhance the life of Albertans.

If a research study utilizes or involves AHS property, resources, facilities, patients or staff, the researcher must obtain an operational approval from each area or department that will be impacted by the study. This approval, amongst many others, is required to launch the research study.

​Tips for Researchers looking to obtain operational approval

  1. The research team is encouraged to have early dialogue with the applicable operational areas (department or facilities) to determine whether they have the necessary equipment, staff, space, etc. available for the study. These discussions could occur when the study is being designed or the protocol is being written. To find out which departments or facilities are operational areas, contact the AHS HSA team at research.administration@ahs.ca.
  2. Understanding the operational area and its capacity may save the research team time down the line as research administrators will need to request operational approval from the area. It is recommended to have a draft or finalized study protocol available for these discussions. For a protocol template, visit the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) website.
  3. In dialogue with operational areas and to assist in the preparation of the operational approval with a research administrator, it is helpful for the research team to have the following information on hand:
  • A description of the research question in lay language
  • Number of subjects from this area and timeframe for study activities
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Study activities expected to conduct in the clinical area (i.e. chart review, patient Interview, clinical testing)
  • Describe any assistance that may be requested from the clinical staff
  • Explain any training that will be provided to the staff to support these functions
  • Describe any AHS clinical equipment the research team may need to use
  • Describe any work or storage space the research team may need
  1. Operational areas may have suggestions about how to make the work of research personnel integrate with day-to-day operations and/or may be interested in collaborating with the research team to ask additional questions or a variant of the research question that is of particular interest to their work.
  2. Approval from the impacted area’s operational lead will indicate acknowledgement of the impact of the research work and agreement for the research work to proceed within their area. For departments providing research services on a direct cost-recovery basis, the research team may be asked to enter into a simple service agreement for the provision of services.

For any questions about obtaining operational approval at the start of the research study, please contact research.administration@ahs.ca.