Virtual REB

The CAREB-ACCER Professional Development Committee (PDC) is pleased to announce a new initiative—the Virtual REB.

What is the Virtual REB (vREB)?

The Virtual REB is a new CAREB-ACCER professional development initiative that will facilitate discussion on a series of case studies. These cases have been designed to highlight a range of common ethical issues typically found in human research applications.

How does it work?

A case study will be posted on the CAREB-ACCER website regularly. The cases are available both to CAREB-ACCER members and non-members.

Once the cases have been posted, registered website users will be provided with an opportunity to contribute their thoughts on the ethical issues they see in the cases and to provide recommendations on how they think the issues should be addressed in REB feedback. A group of Virtual REB Analysts, comprised of volunteer members selected from the CAREB-ACCER community, will review the comments submitted, add their own thoughts, and prepare a case de-brief that will include references to the TCPS2 and other relevant legal and regulatory guidelines. The final case debrief will be made available to all before the next case is posted.

The resulting collaborative product will be archived as a resource which can be used by members, within their own institutions, to support the orientation and training of REB members and professionals.

How can you get involved?

There are three main ways in which CAREB-ACCER members can become involved in this initiative:

1. Apply to become a member of the Virtual REB

If you are interested in putting your name forward to be considered as a Virtual REB Chair or Analyst, please provide an expression of interest outlining your relevant REB experience. Use the contact information below and reference “CAREB-ACCER Virtual REB Expression of Interest” in the subject line.

Note: You must be a CAREB-ACCER member to participate at this level. Virtual REB Chairs and Analysts will be selected based on relevant experience and demonstrated ability to conduct ethical reviews in the areas covered by the case studies. Those selected will be sent terms of reference.

2. Participate as reviewer (open to all)

Once a case has been posted, all CAREB-ACCER members and non-members are encouraged to take on the role of delegated reviewer, contributing their thoughts on the ethical issues they see in the cases and providing recommendations on how they think the issues should be addressed in the case debrief.

3. Help develop our next set of case studies

If you have thoughts or recommendations on situations which could form the basis for future case development, the Professional Development Committee is interested in hearing from you.

Questions, comments and expressions of interest can be directed to:


CAREB-ACCER wishes to gratefully acknowledge the four cases which have been developed by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research and provided to us for this purpose. In addition, the PDC has developed three cases, bringing the total number of cases created to date to seven.