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Apply for research approval

Anyone wishing to carry out research within or on behalf of Medway Children and Adults Directorate, with its staff or clients, must first gain approval through the Research and Information Team by phoning 01634 332445 or emailing researchandinfo@medway.gov.uk

Medway Council is a learning organisation and encourages research as a valuable learning tool. It also has a duty of care to its service users, their families, carers and its staff.

Medway Council will ensure that research and related activities involving staff and service users, carers or their data are conducted ethically and to the highest standards possible.

Research Governance Framework (RGF)

Before an external organisation or individual, including students, can undertake research with social care staff or service users, carers or associated data, they need to satisfy the requirements of the Department of Health’s Research Governance Framework.

The Framework was first published in 2001 and updated in April 2005 and provides guidance on how to assure the quality of research as well as how to ensure the rights of those involved are protected. It also clarifies the responsibilities of the different agencies and individuals involved in research.

The second edition (2005) gives guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 , providing specialist safeguards for participants who lack capacity to consent to research.

What does the RGF cover?

Any activity that involves the collection of information from or about, individuals who may be service users, their relatives or friends, members of the public or employees of the department.

It includes any consultations, surveys, or audits carried out in connection with best value but does not include the routine collection of management information or information collected in the course of normal practice. Specifically, the research covers:

  • surveys
  • focus groups
  • evaluations
  • reviews
  • student projects.

What does the RGF require?

The RGF addresses standards in five main areas:

  • science, requiring research proposals to be independently reviewed by relevant experts
  • ethics, requiring research to be reviewed independently to ensure rights and safety of research participants
  • information, requiring full and free public access to information on the research and its findings
  • health and safety, requiring the safety of research participants, researchers and other staff be addressed
  • finance, ensuring appropriate arrangements are made for the use of public money.

What are the benefits of the RGF?

Setting up systems to assess and monitor research and related activities will provide Medway Council with the following benefits:

  • co-ordinated information on what research activities are taking place
  • findings that are readily available for use, e.g. to inform decision making
  • improved quality of the research being conducted
  • ensuring that service users, carers and staff are not over-consulted
  • avoidance of unnecessary replication of research or reviews
  • safeguarding researchers’ integrity and ensuring compliance with standards
  • ensuring public confidence
  • making sure users, carers and staff are protected.

Research Governance Framework application form (42KB doc)

Reasearch Approval checklist - Medway (33KB pdf)

Medway Research Governance proposal checklist (31KB pdf)