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FAQ’s – Research Passports

  • What is a Research Passport and will I need one

    The Research Passport is the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS agreed process for issuing Honorary Contracts (HCs) or Letters of Access (LOAs) to HEI researchers. If Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Foundation Trust (CNTW) is your substantive employer, or you have an honorary clinical contract with The Trust, then you are already eligible to carry out research within the Trust (provided the project has received the necessary ethical and regulatory approval, and local confirmation of capacity and capability).

  • Do I need a Letter of Access (LOA) or an Honorary Contract (HC)?

    • A HC/LOA is required when a researcher does not hold any form of contractual status with the Trust they are conducting research within. The research passport provides evidence of the pre-engagement checks undertaken in line with NHS Employment Check Standards. All individuals wishing to carry out research that involves CNTW premises, staff or patients must check if they require contractual cover from the Trust and, if so, what type of cover is required. This can be identified using the principles set out by the NIHR in its Research in the NHS: HR Good Practice Resource Pack.

    Researchers should familiarise themselves with the process flowcharts and guidance documents available on the IRAS website.

  • What documents are required for a research passport application?

    As well as the documents required as part of the HR Good Practice Resource Pack, CNTW require the following for all research passport submissions:

    • Evidence of completion of Good Clinical Practice training within the last three years (please ensure the date of completion is also included on the Research CV).
    • An agreed CNTW supervisor documented on the application form. The nominated supervisor will need to confirm their agreement to supervise prior to R&D issuing the HC/LOA.
    • A Research Role Assessment Form documenting the studies you wish to work on and in what capacity.
    • Appropriate contracts or access arrangements with the Trust must be in place before researchers start their research. All applications and supplementary documentation should be sent to research@cntw.nhs.uk.
  • I am employed by CNTW but I require access to another NHS Trust

    • If you are a CNTW employee and plan to conduct research in other NHS trusts, you will need to ask HR to complete the NHS-NHS confirmation of pre-engagement checks form. You can do this by contacting the HR team at HonoraryContracts@cntw.nhs.uk. R&D do not have access to employee records and therefore cannot do this on your behalf.

    • If you are not employed by CNTW but are employed by another NHS organisation and plan to conduct research in other NHS trusts, you will need to ask HR to complete the NHS-NHS confirmation of pre-engagement checks form. R&D do not have access to employee records and therefore cannot do this on your behalf.

    • The IRAS Website outlines the NHS to NHS arrangements for what the process at NHS host organisations is and what the process at employing NHS Organisation or NHS organisation holding the Honorary Clinical Contract is, this can be accessed here.

  • What is the process if I require a research passport at more than one site?

    • If you require a research passport application for more than one site, you will use the validated research passport application form and send this to all other sites.

    • The other sites will complete section 8 of the passport application form, they can do this by printing/completing a blank section 8 and adding this in your research passport application.

    • The IRAS website has a flowchart as to what the process is at an NHS Organisation and the process at Higher Education Institution this can be accessed here.