Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Requesting Operational Approval

​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 approval requests are submitted on behalf of the researcher by either the AHS Health System Access team ( or in the Edmonton zone by The Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre.


​Tips for Researchers looking to obtain Operational Approval


Early dialogue, when the study is being designed or the protocol is being written, is encouraged with the applicable department or facilities to determine whether they have the necessary equipment, staff, space, etc. available for the study.

What are AHS Operational Areas? AHS operational areas (outside of Edmonton Zone) are summarized on the OA Matrix page. 

Understanding the operational area and its capacity may save you time down the line as research administrators will need to request operational approval from the area. It is recommended to have a draft or finalized study protocol available for these discussions. For a protocol template click here.

By submitting and obtaining Research Ethics Board (REB) approval for a research study, your information has been forwarded to the appropriate research adminstration team to draft and process the oeprational approval. You may be contacted to provide additional information.  

In dialogue with operational areas and to assist in the preparation of the operational approval with a research administrator, it is helpful to have the following information on hand.

  • A description of your research question in lay language
  • Number of subjects from this area and timeframe for study activities
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Study activities that you expect to conduct in the clinical area (i.e. Chart review, Patient Interview, Clinical Testing)
  • Describe any assistance you would like from the clinical staff
  • Explain any training you will provide to the staff to support these functions
  • Describe any AHS clinical equipment you may need to use
  • Describe any work or storage space you may need