Research Training

Research training is mandated for anyone who conducts, or is involved in, human research activities at Unity Health Toronto.

Training in, and implementation of, accepted ethical and regulatory guidelines in human research helps to ensure that studies are conducted according to the highest ethical, scientific and safety standards.

All individuals (e.g., investigators, coordinators, and any other personnel conducting research activities including students, trainees, fellows, etc.) involved in conducting human research activities at Unity Health Toronto (i.e., any involvement at a site, on behalf of a site, with site participants/ charts/ identifiable data, etc.) are required to complete mandatory research training depending on the type of research being conducted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is an international ethical and scientific quality standard for designing, conducting, recording and reporting trials that involve the participation of human subjects. Conducting research according to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) provides public assurance that the rights, safety and well-being of human research participants are protected and that the study data are credible.

The Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS-2) is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving humans and/or human biological materials. Training in the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS-2) helps to ensure the ethical conduct of research involving humans.

Health Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations (FDR), Part C, Division 5 applies to all clinical drug trials requiring Health Canada authorization. Part C, Division 5 regulations stipulate the application for authorization, amendments/notifications and sponsor obligations.

In addition to mitigating risks to each institution should there be audits by regulatory agencies, such as Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making these courses mandatory supports our position and commitment to promote the highest quality and ethical conduct of research. The courses are free of charge to Unity Health Toronto staff and affiliates.

Additional benefits of taking these courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Supports a firm grounding in, and understanding of, good clinical practice, ethics and responsible conduct of research.
  • Prior to beginning a research project, ensures a strong foundational knowledge to be able to support graduate research activity and beyond.
  • Strong addition on a CV or resume as it indicates commitment to integrity and accountability in research.
  • Training courses can be used as credits to maintain professional affiliation(s) i.e. CME credits, SoCRA (Society of Clinical Research Professionals)
  • Researchers working with pharmaceutical companies who accept the CITI Canada GCP course certification will not have to repeat GCP training sessions.

It is the principal investigator’s responsibility to ensure that anyone who conducts or is involved in research activities at Unity Health Toronto completes the training required for the study. This may include, but is not limited to: the principal investigator, co-investigators, scientists, research staff, postdoctoral fellows, students (graduate, co-op and summer), medical residents and clinical fellows, research volunteers and visitors. All new research staff joining Unity Health Toronto must complete applicable research training courses within three months of their start date.

Given that all research involving human participants, including research involving human biological materials (e.g., organs, tissues, blood, urine, saliva) requires review and approval in advance by the Unity Health Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB), REB approval or renewal of a research project will be tied to course completion. This means that REB approval or renewal of a study will be withheld until all Unity Health Toronto staff listed on the REB submission have completed their required training. The Office of Research Administration and the Research Ethics Office track the completion of the applicable training courses.

If an individual has completed a required research training course under the affiliation of another organization (within the last two years for GCP and Division 5 training), a copy of the training certificate must be provided.

Submit external training certificates to the Research Ethics inbox (