Scaling Engineering

By Joe Pettersson

Policy on the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and personal data

Scaling Engineering's aims

Scaling Engineering seeks to protect the dignity, rights and welfare of all those involved in our research (whether they are participants, third parties or collaborators) and to promote high ethical standards of research. We achecive this by:

  • fostering a culture that embraces the principles set down in this policy and in the legislation to protect the rights, dignity and welfare of those involved in research;
  • providing ethical guidance that communicates regulatory requirements and best practice, and offering ongoing support and training to maintain high ethical standards; and
  • maintaining a review process that subjects research to a level of scrutiny in proportion to the risk of harm or adverse effect.

Scope

For the purposes of this document "Scaling Engineering" should be taken to mean the author (Joe Pettersson), any research or design associates the author includes in the preperation or execuction of the research or any third-parties who have been granted access to any raw, non-anonymous data.

Scaling Engineering's commitments

General

Scaling Engineering is committed to ensuring that its research activities involving human participants and personal data are conducted in a way which:

  • respects the dignity, rights, and welfare of all participants in research;
  • minimises risk to participants, researchers, and third parties;
  • appropriately manages personal data; and
  • aims to maximise the public benefit of research.

Scaling Engineering requires that all those carrying out such research engage with our commitment to conduct research to high ethical standards and seek ethical review and approval of such research; understand the reasons for, and participate fully in, the ethical review process; and fulfil their moral and legal responsibilities in respect of the rights and welfare of participants.

Rigour

Scaling Engineering is committed to ensuring that research involving human participants and personal data conducted is carried out to high ethical standards.

Scaling Engineering meets this commitment by:

  • requiring that research is designed and undertaken in a manner that evinces a commitment to accountability and quality;
  • setting appropriate standards for the conduct of research involving human participants and personal data that are in line with current legislation and best practice;
  • identifying and reviewing proportionately to the level of risk all research involving human participants and personal data; and
  • ensuring that research complies with current legislative requirements.

Respect

Scaling Engineering is committed to ensuring that all research involving human participants and personal data contributes to the public good, and that the dignity, rights and welfare of anyone conducting research, research participants and third parties (which may include family members, carers or the wider community) are respected.

Scaling Engineering meets this commitment by:

  • ensuring that any risk of adverse effect on people, either directly or indirectly as a result of participation in the research project, is outweighed by the benefits;
  • avoiding or minimising harm to people involved in, or affected by, the research, through sound research methodology, and the early identification and considered assessment of risk;
  • requiring that people are fully informed about the purpose and intended possible uses of the research, what their participation involves and details of any risks;
  • ensuring that participants formally and voluntarily register their consent to participate in such research and can choose to withdraw their participation at any time without adverse consequences; and
  • observing the confidentiality of information provided by participants and, where appropriate, respecting their anonymity.

Responsibility

Scaling Engineering is committed to providing leadership in the area of ethical conduct of research and to participating openly in discussions on the direction of research, and improvements to practice, in this area.

Scaling Engineering meets this commitment by:

  • contributing, listening and responding to the debate on issues that research involving human participants and personal data may raise for society;
  • working closely with relevant peer groups and government agencies to remain abreast of developments and inform policy; and
  • maintaining open and transparent procedures relating to the conduct and review of research.

Education and training

Scaling Engineering is committed to sustaining and encouraging ethical research conduct through the provision of training to equip them with the skills to recognise potential risks and by raising awareness of Scaling Engineerings’s policy and procedures and the responsibilities of researchers in helping the Scaling Engineering meet its obligations.

Scaling Engineering meets this commitment by:

  • communicating our standards and policies effectively to everyone involved in research;
  • promoting awareness of best practice through education and training;
  • providing appropriate training for those undertaking research involving human participants and personal data, and for those responsible for ethical review of such research, so that knowledge and skills are up-to-date; and
  • fostering an environment of openness and integrity that encourages collaboration and early communication of potential risks.

Ethical review process

Scaling Engineering is committed to providing a competent, rigorous and externally-moderated process of ethical review that is proportionate to the potential risk and, where a high risk is identified, assesses that risk against the benefits to the public good.

Scaling Engineering meets this commitment by:

  • using a procedure that distinguishes research that requires review under external procedures and separates out low-risk research for ‘light-touch’ expedited review from those research projects requiring further scrutiny;
  • appointing to its ethical review committee a combination of members who are independent of Scaling Engineering or who are no longer involved in its research; and
  • keeping under regular review the effectiveness of the ethical review process, including the composition of its review committee.