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Health Research Authority
Protecting and promoting the interests of patients and the public in health research

Health Research Authority

The Health Research Authority (HRA) is a newly formed NHS organisation established on 01 December 2011 as a Special Health Authority. The purpose of the HRA is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research. 

The HRA will work closely with other bodies, including the MHRA and NIHR, to create a unified approval process and to promote proportionate standards for compliance and inspection within a consistent national system of research governance. 

The National Research Ethics Service

The National Research Ethics Service has transferred to the HRA.  This provides immediate efficiencies as it brings together the functions previously provided by the National Patient Safety Agency and the Research Ethics Committee Appointing Authority functions previously held by the Strategic Health Authorities.  The establishment of the HRA will provide a stable and efficient platform for the NRES.  It will enable NRES to complete identified service improvements, such as UK-wide e-submission through IRAS (Integrated Research Application System).

The HRA will also facilitate further coordination across regulation and governance, with early proposals including a new advice service from the HRA, registration on IRAS as a future platform for a national assurance and registration of researchers and consideration of integrated reporting systems.  The Government intends to transfer other functions to the HRA and legislate to establish the HRA as a non-departmental public body, with clauses to be published for pre-legislative scrutiny in the second session of this Parliament.

HRA Announcements