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Research Passports

The Research Passport system is an initiative developed to simplify the administrative procedures required for issuing Honorary Research Contracts (HRCs) to researchers who have no contractual arrangements with the NHS but who carry out research in NHS organisations which has an impact on patient care.

An extensive Resource Pack providing guidance and examples of good practice has been developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NHIR) in partnership with the NHS R&D Forum and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC). This document is based on that resource pack and includes extracts from it. The full NHS HR Good Practice Resource Pack can be downloaded from the NHS web pages.

The Research Passport system is designed to provide assurance to NHS organisations that employers such as the University of Exeter have carried out a range of pre-engagement checks on researchers and to streamline the arrangements for obtaining permission from NHS organisations to carry out research. In the past, there has been little consistency in the arrangements for issuing HRCs and researchers wishing to work in more than one NHS organisation have needed to obtain multiple HRCs and undergo repeated pre-engagement checks. This new system aims to prevent the duplication of pre-engagement checks and provide clear and consistent guidance on the use of HRCs.