A pRoject Ethics Community Consensus Initiative (ARECCI)

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Health system and human service improvement

Interaction with or use of individual information can present ethics risks. ARECCI started in 2003 to address the gap in ethical oversight of quality improvement, evaluation and human service projects which may not require research ethics board review.

ARECCI supports health system and human service improvement by providing ethical oversight to minimize and mitigate risks to sponsors and stakeholders for project success which in turn builds public trust.

Each project is a learning experience that develops the strong networks dedicated to small immediate improvements and is the foundation for sustainable system change.

Project ethics

Knowledge generating activities (program evaluations, quality improvement, needs assessment) are conducted to monitor, assess, and improve patient/public outcomes, access, safety, and effectiveness of healthcare and human service systems. These projects involve individuals and their information which can have similar ethical risks as research studies. There is a strong consensus that these knowledge-generating activities should be done often and should be done ethically.

Our impact

ARECCI helps project leads to address and mitigate ethical risks through decision support tools, training opportunities and project ethics consultation.

ARECCI decision support tools

ARECCI decision support tools consists of two complimentary tools to assist project sponsors.

  1. The ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool and
  2. ARECCI Guideline Tool.

These tools have been co-developed and validated. They help determine:

  1. level of risk of your project,
  2. types of ethical risks, and
  3. appropriate type of ethics review.

Each tool aids in the identification of ethical areas of concern.

ARECCI Project Ethics Course

The ARECCI Project Ethics Course is a practical course designed to help participants develop knowledge and skills related to project ethics and apply the ethics considerations to a project they are currently working on.

At the end of the course, attendees should have an increased awareness of ethical risks on projects and have developed a structured approach to identifying and addressing ethics issues for project success.

Training information available here.


Protection of patients and their information from unintended harms apply to quality improvement and evaluation projects. ARECCI provides Second Opinion Review for Alberta based projects that have been identified as above minimal risk by the screening tool.

The process matches project leads with a Second Opinion Reviewer. The reviewer will contact the project lead(s) and schedule a 30-45-minute telephone call to discuss the ethical risks and mitigation strategies in your project.

Second opinion review requests.