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Support for adopters

Determine the most appropriate regulatory authority to contact for assistance with your specific case.

Health Research Authority (HRA)

Protects and promotes the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.

The HRA is responsible for a wide range of committees and services to streamline research, such as:

  • Research Ethics Committee (REC) Service: Our Research Ethics Committees (RECs) review research applications and give an opinion about whether the research is ethical. They look at areas such as the proposed participant involvement and are entirely independent of research sponsors (that is, the organisations which are responsible for the management and conduct of the research), funders and investigators.
  • The Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG): The Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) is an independent body which provides expert advice on the use of confidential patient information for purposes beyond direct patient care. It also provides advice to the Secretary of State for Health for non-research uses.
  • HRA and HCRW Approval: HRA Approval and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) Approval brings together the assessment of governance and legal compliance. It applies where the NHS organisation has a duty of care to research participants or NHS staff/volunteers. HRA and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) Approval applies to all project-based research taking place in the NHS in England and Wales.

Email the HRA Queries Line at for support.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

Any person (individual, partnership or organisation) who provides regulated activity in England must be registered with us otherwise they commit an offence.

The CQC can support you with understanding:

  • who needs to register
  • how to register
  • what a regulated activity is

Read our guidance on checking if you need to register with the Care Quality Commission for more information.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

The ICO has detailed guidance on data protection for adopters of AI, including an AI and data protection risk toolkit designed to help organisations reduce the risks to people’s rights and freedoms caused by their own AI systems.

For general inquiries about information governance and other topics, contact the Advice Services team via their website or by calling 0303 123 1113.