Concerning Ethical Practices

Please note:

For any issues relating to Human Ethics Review, contact the, visit the REB website and read the Dawson College Policy on the Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans

I’d like to conduct a survey of my class as part of a teaching unit in my course. Do I need permission to do this?

TCPS 1998, Article 1.1d / TCPS 2009, Article 2.2

The following types of research are not required to undergo ethics review under the TCPS guidelines.

  1. a) Research that relies exclusively on publicly available information about individuals or institutions.
  2. b) Research involving observation of people in public places that (1) does not allow for the identification of the individuals in research material and (2) is not staged by the researcher(s).
  3. c) Research conducted by students in fulfillment of course requirements. Though not subject to REB review, Dawson College expects teachers and departments to ensure that student research respects the ethical guidelines defined in this policy.

Someone asks me to circulate information about a research study to my colleagues/students, for the purposes of recruiting study participants?

You can request that the person provide information about the nature of the study, including his/her REB certificate number. Contact the REB chair and the Research Coordinator for details about the study. Use your judgment – if you have concerns, contact your Chair or Dean.


My course requires to design and carry out a survey that involves the human participants, e.g., fellow students, Dawson faculty, professionals or staff, family or community members etc… Do I or my students need approval from the R.E.B?

No. You do not need permission from the R.E.B to carry out a survey involving human participants for a course you are teaching as long as: (1) it is a part of regular teaching and assessment activities in your course; and (2) you do not use the data or information collected for any purposes other than those clearly defined for students in descriptions of the activity or the broader course requirements.

My department/program has asked me to research educational standards, practices, materials in our discipline, to inform efforts at program improvement/development. Do I need approval from the R.E.B?

TCPS 1998, Article 1.1d / TCPS 2009, Article 2.2

The following activities may, in many respects resemble research, but are not considered to be research under the TCPS definition, and are exempt from the need to undergo REB review.


  1. d) Quality assurance and quality improvement studies, program evaluations, and performance reviews or testing within normal educational requirements, when used exclusively for program review, management or improvement purposes do not constitute research for the purposes of this Policy, and do not fall within the scope of REB review

My research involves a questionnaire, and/or interviews with students/faculty/staff/key informants. Do I need approval from the R.E.B?

Yes, all research relating to human participants is subject to approval by the R.E.B.

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