Ethics & AHS Approvals

ALL research involving human participants or their data must have ethics approval.

If needed, AHS operational approval is requested following ethics approval.


Members of the Faculty of Nursing must apply for research ethics approval via the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) or Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta-Cancer Committee (HREBA.CC).

Both ethics boards adhere to the ethical guidelines set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2, 2018). ALL members of a research team are required to familiarize themselves with this document prior to commencing research involving humans. Research team members are also required to complete the online TCPS2 Tutorial. After finishing the TCPS2 Tutorial, please upload the certificate of completion to your Researcher Profile in IRISS (UCalgary's online ethics application system). 

QI/QA/PE or Research?  If you are unsure whether your study constitutes quality assurance (QA), quality improvement (QI), program evaluation (PE), or research, please review these guidance and decision tools. If you decide that your project is QI, QA, or PE, you still need to request an exemption from CHREB ethics review before beginning your study. 

IRISS & Ethics Workshop

IRISS & Ethics Workshop

Marc Hall

Ethics Guides

Please see below for detailed guidance on the ethics application process.  Additional guidance documents and required templates are available on the CHREB website.

Faculty Guide


Student Guide


Need AHS Operational Approval?

Congratulations! You've just received ethics approval from CHREB or HREBA.CC.

If you need access to AHS facilities, staff, patients, data, or other resources for your study, you need to request operational approval from AHS before you begin. To do this, complete the AHS Resource & Facilities Request SmartForm within your IRISS ethics application after you select that you require AHS access. This can be filled out at any time afterwards, but the AHS request itself is not submitted to AHS until you have ethics approval in place from CHREB/HREBA.

For full details on the AHS Resource & Facilities Request SmartForm, see this webpage on AHS Requests

The following documents may also be useful – the user guide provides an overview of activating and submitting the AHS form in IRISS. The reference guide provides details on the specific AHS questions.