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Research passports

Human Resources (HR) Arrangements for Researchers

If your research involves UH Bristol's patients, data or facilities and you are not already employed by the Trust, in addition to requiring R&I permission for your project, you may need to be covered by an appropriate HR agreement before your research can begin.

The type of HR agreement you need will be assessed in accordance with the principles set out in the Research in the NHS: HR Good Practice Resource Pack as part of the governance approval process at UH Bristol. The resource pack describes streamlined arrangements, including the Research Passport System, for those wishing to conduct their research in the NHS. Researchers may wish to familiarise themselves with the process flowcharts and guidance documents available on the NIHR website.

Depending on the nature of your research, it may be necessary for you to undergo specific pre-engagement checks, such as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and/or occupational health screening. It is your employers responsibility to ensure that checks meet the requirements of relevant safeguarding and health and safety legislation. As a host organisation, UH Bristol is responsible for ensuring that checks are commensurate with your research role, the type of research and its duty of care.

Where required, any new or additional pre-engagement checks should be arranged through your substantive employer. On occasion, however, it may be necessary for UH Bristol to repeat specific checks and/or request that additional pre-engagement checks are undertaken. It is advisable therefore to contact our HR Research Passport Lead (see below) early in the study set up phase to discuss the pre-engagement checks required for your research activity and ensure that these are undertaken in good time.

Please note UH Bristol can only process your request once confirmation of the necessary pre-engagement checks has been provided.

If you are a University employee or a student you will need to complete a Research Passport Form, which needs to be completed by the researcher, the university and a validating NHS organisation.

If you are NHS staff or a clinical academic, you and your NHS employer will need to complete an NHS to NHS letter of access: proforma confirmation of pre-engagement checks. Please first check with your employer to find out what process they follow to provide confirmation of pre-engagement checks, as this may vary from Trust to Trust.

If you would like further information about how to go about obtaining the necessary HR permissions for your research at UH Bristol, please contact the R&I team via or call 0117 34 20233.

If you are a UH Bristol employee planning to conduct research at another NHS site and you need to provide confirmation to the host site that the Trust has undertaken all the necessary pre-engagement checks, please contact the R&I team in the first instance.

Timelines for common pre-engagement checks (should be used as a guide only)

The CRB aims to process 90% of Sandard checks in 10 days and 90% of Enhanced checks in 4 weeks. You also need to allow time for your employer to work with you to complete and submit your CRB application form.

You will need to allow sufficient time to complete an occupational health assessment form, and depending on your research activity, this may result in your requiring additional checks and immunisations. Please note some immunisations can take up to six months to complete. Please refer to Part 2 of the Department of Health's "Green Book" for further details.

Contact details for the HR Good Pratice/Research Passport Leads at other NHS organisations are available on the Western CLRN's website.

For NHS organisations outside this region, please visit the relevant CLRN website.