King’s College London is an internationally renowned university providing exceptional research and world-leading research. It handles around 1,900 ethics approval applications every year. Historically, the process used paper-based applications with wet signatures from reviewers. Correspondence was distributed manually, by post or by individual email. Separate spreadsheets monitored reviewer availability and tracked the distribution of applications to reviewers. Data was spread between an Access database, email records and many hard copy files.
As a result, the process carried a heavy administrative burden, and King’s sought to streamline it with a fully integrated management system. They would need an automated yet flexible system to accommodate three review processes and required ongoing support. Some users were, however, wary of replacing the old system.
“We’ve had the experience of when the internal expertise leaves, and we were not keen to repeat it!”