The CSMLS Research Mandate
The CSMLS has traditionally conducted membership-based research to support the operations of the society. Many of these projects have involved institutional document and data analysis and have not required ethical review.
Requests from external researchers for assistance contacting CSMLS members have always been subject to approval by the CSMLS Board of Directors and have hinged on prior approval of the project by the Research Ethics Boards of the principal investigators’ primary institutions. More recently, the occasional CSMLS projects involving clear researcher/subject relationships with human participants have made use of ad hoc ethics review processes. However, the CSMLS is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number and complexity of its research undertakings.
Current pressing issues within the health care system, including health human resources discussions, have highlighted large gaps in profession-specific data and research on medical laboratory science in Canada that are not being addressed within traditional academic research communities. These gaps hinder understanding and decision-making about the profession and result in delays to creating and implementing policy that adequately meets Canada’s changing health care needs.
To address these information gaps and to thereby contribute to high quality health care in Canada, the CSMLS established a research mandate in 2006 to conduct and facilitate research on the medical laboratory profession in Canada. With the adoption of this specific research mandate, the CSMLS acknowledges the need for formal ethics review policies and protocols to demonstrate its commitment to research ethics and integrity. The CSMLS seeks to conduct and facilitate research in accordance with accepted Canadian practices as laid out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement.