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Operational Approvers Guidance

Operational Approval: Assessing the impact of research activities in AHS operational areas

AHS supports the creation of operational areas where innovation and research are integrated with care. This integration should enhance opportunities for patients and their families, our staff and should generate evidence that can enhance the life of Albertans.

If a research study utilizes or involves Alberta Health Services property, resources, facilities, patients or staff), the researcher must obtain an Operational Approval from each area or department that will be impacted by the study. This approval, amongst many others is required to launch the research study.

AHS operational approvals are drafted and provided by either the AHS Provincial Research Administration team ( or in the Edmonton zone by The Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre.


​Tips for AHS staff providing operational approval

Designated individuals known as "operational approvers" have been identified for each AHS operational area and during the course of study set-up a research administrator is responsible to ensure the approver has the information and support required to determine whether their area is able to support the research study.

During study set-up designated operational approvers may be approached by a research administration team to review and/or sign-off on the operational approval. While reviewing the study summary or protocol, some considerations may be:

  • Does the research fit with the mission, vision and goals of the operational area and/or AHS?
  • How will operational area staff be impacted by the study?
  • What role will staff have in the study? Will there be a need for a staff intermediary?
  • How will patients or staff be approached by the research team? For more information on AHS guidance on participant recruitment see here.
  • Will there be any costs incurred by the operational area in order to support the research?
  • What resources will be used by the research team (space, personnel, equipment, etc.)