A pRoject Ethics Community Consensus Initiative (ARECCI)

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Minimizing ethical risks

Projects that don’t require research ethics approval still involve people and their information. Program evaluations, quality improvement, health innovations and knowledge translation can often have similar ethical risks as research studies.

Innovation is a generally good thing, but sometimes it creates new and unfamiliar risks such as fairness, accessibility or unseen biases. We are developing an ethical framework for innovation projects within the province.

ARECCI helps project leads address and mitigate ethical risks.

Our impact

We provide support to project leads in assessing the ethical risks of projects that don’t require research ethics approval. We do this by offering decision-support tools, training opportunities and ethics consultation.

We can also provide an ethical framework for innovation projects within the province. 

Since inception, nearly 20,000 individuals have accessed our online decision support tools.

Decision support tools

We recommend that all projects be screened for ethical risk and offers two decision-support tools to help:

  • Identify risks,
  • Determine the category of risk and
  • Determine the appropriate ethics consultation.

ARECCI Ethics Guideline Tool

We are currently revising the online version of the ARECCI Ethics Guideline Tool to make it more responsive to user needs. In the interim, we’ve prepared a PDF version with fillable fields.

Follow these steps to use this version:

  1. Download the Alberta Innovates (2017) ARECCI Ethics Guideline Tool
  2. Save it to your computer.
  3. Complete the fields at your convenience.
  4. Redistribute via email. There is no URL to save anymore.

Please note: If you’re accessing the template on a mobile device or tablet you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to ensure the fillable fields are enabled. 

On Apple products, the form will open automatically in iBooks. Follow these steps once iBooks opens the file:

  • select “Share” on the bottom of your screen,
  • click and choose “Copy to Adobe Acrobat.”

Once the online version is ready, we will keep the fillable PDF available so that you will have a choice of completing the tool online or offline.

If you are going to be citing the tool, please use the following: Alberta Innovates. (2017). ARECCI Ethics Guideline Tool. Retrieved from albertainnovates.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ARECCI-Ethics-Guideline-Tool.pdf

ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool

The Alberta Innovates (2017) ARECCI Screening Tool helps determine the primary purpose of the project, the types of ethical risks, and the appropriate type of ethics review.


For projects that are determined somewhat more or definitely greater than minimal risk the ARECCI provides ethics consultation in the form of Second Opinion Reviews or reviews by an ARECCI Committee.

At this time, we are only able to offer second opinion reviews for projects based in Alberta.

In order to complete a review, project leads must submit a completed:

Email all documents to ARECCI.Health@albertainnovates.ca

Information and inquiries

If you have questions, please contact us: ARECCI.Health@albertainnovates.ca