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Health Research Authority (HRA)

HSC R&D Division, as part of the UK-wide community of health research stakeholders, works closely with the Health Research Authority.

The Health Research Authority (HRA) was established in December 2011 to promote and protect the interests of patients in health research and to streamline the regulation of research. The HRA works, with partners such as NIHR, to make the UK a great place to do health research, to build confidence and participation in health research, and so improve the nation’s health. Patients, participants and the public share an interest with researchers and sponsors in ensuring good, ethical research is carried out, subject to proportionate regulation.

The HRA will be established as an executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) this Parliament, as provided by the Care Act 2014. It is leading on work to fundamentally review the Research Governance Framework, with partners in the devolved administrations.

The HRA is developing significant changes to the regulatory processes for health research to simplify the current complex arrangements. This will make it easier to do good research, whilst providing a robust and integrated system for research that patients and the public can trust.

A new system of HRA Approval will integrate the review undertaken by the HRA’s research ethics committees with an assessment on behalf of the NHS, eliminating the duplication and variation that currently exists across the NHS. At present, this project is dealing with research ethics and R&D approvals in England only, but HRA is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure any UK-wide issues are considered.

To help people find out more about the latest research studies, and to make the results of research available to other researchers and the public, the HRA is also ensuring that information about research studies and their results are registered.