Information Services Division


Register for data protection

Get my study registered for data protection.

Any research activities which involve the processing of ‘personal data’ will be subject to the UK Data Protection Laws, which is regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  It is therefore expected that all research using personal data must be registered with Legal Services before the data is collected, or submitted for ethics review.  This includes research approved by the Joint Research Office (a partnership between University College London, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust) and other departmental ethics committees within the university.

Further advice and guidance on ethical approval at UCL is available from: UCL Research Ethics Committee (UCL REC).

Researchers who are applying to the IOE Research Ethics Committee (IOE REC) follow a slightly different process but are also required to ensure that it complies with UK Data Protection Laws, and gain approval from Legal Services.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018. It will replace the current UK Data Protection Laws and apply to all EU member states without the need for national legislation.

Along with other organisations, UCL will need to carefully consider how we will implement the numerous new requirements under the GDPR, including consents to determine how these will need to be amended and whether use of consent is still appropriate when the GDPR comes into force. The implementation will require comprehensive changes to the way in which organisations, like UCL, collect, use and transfer and receive personal data.

While the Data Protection Bill is not yet finalised, there is still a lack of clarity within certain areas. However, Legal Services have created a GDPR-compliant Consent Form and Participant Information Sheet templates available to researchers through the UCL REC registration process Procedures page as well as to IoE researchers via the IOE REC website.

If your research recruits NHS patients, their tissue or data or you are conducting a Clinical Trial under the Clinical Trial Regulations, the research will need approval from the Health Research Authority – HRA  (formerly NHS REC or IRAS) and/or the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority.  Please contact the UCL and UCLH Joint Research Office for further information, as you will need to use different Patient Information Sheets and Consent Form templates.