Research Ethics Committee
This is an independent body whose responsibility it is to protect the rights, safety and wellbeing of people involved in research activities. To do so, it can issue an opinion on the measures put in place (e.g. protocols, facilities, documents to inform and ask for consent). Most research performing organisations such as universities and research centres have research ethics committee which are tasked with the research review process; their approval is necessary whenever research activities raise ethical issues and must be received before the start of new research projects. So far, RECs play an important role and are concentrated largely in the biomedical field.
Adapted from: The European Union’s Directive 2001/20/EC, also known as the Clinical Trials Directive. Available here.