PHSA’s Conflict of Interest (COI) declaration and management process provides oversight to researchers’ external relationships and interests.
Innovative health research demands ongoing collaborative relationships with individuals, groups and organizations external to PHSA.
PHSA has a responsibility to our patients and the general public to ensure that no outside relationships appear to, or actually do, compromise the integrity of research. The PHSA COI Declaration ensures that researchers can be open and transparent with any interests that relate to their PHSA roles or research, and that they can work with their supervisor to manage any interests before an actual conflict exists. The objective is not to restrict research but to support it in an ethical and open way.
For more information, refer to the PHSA Research Conflict of Interest Policy (updated December 3, 2015). This policy should be reviewed in conjunction with other policies that make up PHSA’s ethics framework.
For a quick overview of the updated Policy, refer to COI Policy Revisions at a Glance.
Who must declare?
PHSA’s annual COI declaration process applies to anyone who conducts research at or under the auspices of any of PHSA's hospitals, health centres, agencies, or their affiliated research institutes. This also applies to:
- Faculty members
- Members of medical, dental, midwifery, nursing, and professional staff
- Research associates, research assistants, research nurses, and technologists
- Clinical trial leads and team members
- Students, only if a conflict has been identified (no requirement for annual reporting)
Externally-funded research, internally-funded research, unfunded research, and any research that requires REB approval are all subject to COI declaration.
If you hold a university appointment, you will already be required to complete an annual COI declaration for your academic institution. PHSA manages a separate COI process to ensure that university faculty members have a way to disclose conflicts related to PHSA responsibilities that are not captured in their university COI form. Examples could include:
- A researcher may hold stock in a pharma company and also provide advice to the C&W department on purchases, which may involve that pharma company,
- A researcher may sit on the board of a pharma company that intends to provide funding for research to his BC Cancer Agency clinical department, or
- A researcher is starting a spin-off company and wishes to recruit new staff, and knows that some research nurses (PHSA employees) may apply.
We recognize that most of the time, faculty members already disclose all conflicts related to PHSA in their university COI declaration. In this case, you may simply upload an electronic copy of your approved university form onto the PHSA COI site to meet PHSA requirements.
Please note that PHSA’s COI policy should be read in conjunction with your affiliated university policies.