How to tell if your study is research, audit or service evaluation
- Research is designed and conducted to create new
knowledge. If this research is generalisable (i.e. can be
applied beyond UH Bristol), then it falls under the Research
Governance Framework, and you need to follow the systems of
approval for NHS Research.
- Audit is designed to answer the question "Does this service
reach a predetermined standard?" Audits need to go through the UH Bristol Clinical Audit
- Service evaluation is designed to answer the question
"What standard does this service achieve?" If you are planning a
new service, or changing the way you provide an existing service,
you may be required by law to involve patients (service users) in
this process. Please visit the Patient
Experience Team for more information.
It can sometimes be difficult to decide whether your survey
project is research, audit or service evaluation. The National
Research Ethics Service (NRES) has published the following guidance
to help you decide: NRES Guidance PDF.
All three types of study require the approval of each NHS site
where the study takes place, but the processes you need to follow
will differ depending on whether the study is classed as research,
audit or service evaluation. Only research requires REC (Research
Ethics Committee) review.
If you've had a look at the NRES leaflet and you're still not
sure, you can contact the following people for advice:
or call the R&I department on 0117 34 20233
or call 0117 34 23614
Service Evaluation: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0117 34 23638
Operational definitions of Clinical Audit,
Research, Service Evaluation and Service Improvement activity
have been agreed between the Trust's Clinical Governance Manager,
Research Development Manager and Head of Innovation (September