COT research governance arrangements

The College of Occupational Therapists acts as research Sponsor for specialist sections, regional groups and individuals commissioned by the College to conduct research projects, audits and service evaluations.

The College's research governance arrangements were developed in response to the publication of the national Research Governance Frameworks for Health and Community/Social Care. These arrangements are in place to:

  • ensure the quality and ethical integrity of research and related activity involving members;
  • prevent groups of members from being over-consulted and the replication of research activities;
  • ensure activities being carried out are sound, and that any decisions subsequently based on them are better informed; and
  • provide a level of protection for staff and members in terms of potential risks to individuals or the organisation.

When acting as research Sponsor, the College is responsible for ensuring an appropriate process of scientific critique has demonstrated that the research proposal is worthwhile, and of high scientific quality.
Approval for such projects (research, service evaluations, audits and service developments) must be sought formally by an application to the College's ethics approval process.

Specialist sections and regional groups are advised to obtain further information and discuss their plans at an early stage of development with the College's R&D Team. Contact

College of Occupational Therapists' Project Ethics Review Network (PERN)

A Project Ethics Review Panel, convened from a network of members and College Officers, will undertake an ethics review of a project proposal, where indicated, as part of the College's research governance arrangements. Proposals are reviewed by a panel to ensure ethical standards are maintained, and panel members bring their clinical expertise, research experience and knowledge, to the review process.
If you are a BAOT member and have relevant experience you may be interested in joining the network of reviewers. Please see the terms of reference and membership form below, or for more information contact