PHREB releases 2020 SOP workbook for ethics review  

The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) launched the 2020 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Workbook online last June 23, 2020, updating the first edition released in 2015. The document serves as a guide for institutions in establishing research ethics committees (RECs), applying for PHREB accreditation, and revising their current SOPs.
 
Emphasizing the importance of ensuring the rights, safety, and welfare of human participants in conducting health research, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) Executive Director Jaime Montoya referred to the workbook as a “testament to PHREB’s commitment to the universal principles for the protection of human participants in research.”
 
Authored by  former PHREB chair, Dr. Marita V.T. Reyes, the second edition of the workbook is a product of the critique and inputs of various institutions using the 2015 PHREB SOP Workbook. Dr. Reyes presented the amendments applied to the document which provides guidelines on streamlining ethical review processes and how they can be applied from the perspective of RECs. In this edition, the guidelines are reorganized and simplified to facilitate convenient referencing for its users.
 
With the updated SOPs, the current workbook addresses concerns the previous edition did not tackle. These include the policies on management of resubmissions, review of reportable negative events, management of applications for continuing review, management of appeals, and policies on exemption from review. New sections such as the glossary of terms and sample forms were also added which can be used as bases for the creation of SOPs specific to a certain REC.
 
“Ang workbook ay isang napakahalagang hakbang para sa professionalization ng ating ethics review (The workbook is a crucial contribution for the professionalization of ethics review),” said current PHREB Chair Dr. Leonardo de Castro. 
 
As of June 2020, there are currently 104 PHREB accredited RECs throughout the country.
 
The 2020 PHREB Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Workbook can now be downloaded through http://www.ethics.healthresearch.ph/.