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Virtual REB

The CAREB-ACCER Professional Development Committee (PDC) is pleased to announce a new initiative—the Virtual REB.

The vREB Case 1:  "Influenza Transmission in Hutterite Colonies," case debrief is now available

For more information and a French Language version of the case, please see below. Although the Case 1 review is no longer open, comments and discussion on the case and debrief are welcomed. Members can access the Virtual REB thread of the Forum for this purpose. 

Please note that Case 1 was open to the public; however, subsequent cases will be open to CAREB-ACCER members only as a benefit of membership. 

What is the Virtual REB (vREB)?

The Virtual REB is a new CAREB-ACCER professional development initiative that will facilitate discussion on a series of case studies. These cases have been designed to highlight a range of common ethical issues typically found in human research applications.

How does it work?

A case study will be posted on the CAREB-ACCER website (approximately) every three months. The first case will be available both for CAREB-ACCER members and non-members, while subsequent cases will only be available to CAREB-ACCER members.

Once the cases have been posted, CAREB-ACCER members will be provided with an opportunity to contribute their thoughts on the ethical issues they see in the cases and to provide recommendations on how they think the issues should be addressed in REB feedback. A group of Virtual REB Analysts, comprised of volunteer members selected from the CAREB-ACCER community, will review the comments submitted, add their own thoughts, and prepare a case de-brief that will include references to the TCPS2 and other relevant legal and regulatory guidelines. The final case debrief will be made available to all CAREB-ACCER members before the next case is posted.

The resulting collaborative product will be archived as a resource which can be used by members, within their own institutions, to support the orientation and training of REB members and professionals.

How can you get involved?

There are three main ways in which CAREB-ACCER members can become involved in this initiative:

1.  Apply to become a member of the Virtual REB

If you are interested in putting your name forward to be considered as a Virtual REB Chair or Analyst, please provide an expression of interest outlining your relevant REB experience. Use the contact information below and reference “CAREB-ACCER Virtual REB Expression of Interest” in the subject line.

Note: You must be a CAREB-ACCER member to participate at this level. Virtual REB Chairs and Analysts will be selected based on relevant experience and demonstrated ability to conduct ethical reviews in the areas covered by the case studies. Those selected will be sent terms of reference.

2. Participate as reviewer

Once a case has been posted, all CAREB-ACCER members are encouraged to take on the role of delegated reviewer, contributing their thoughts on the ethical issues they see in the cases and providing recommendations on how they think the issues should be addressed in the case debrief. Watch this space for more information, once the first case is posted.

3. Help develop our next set of case studies

If you have thoughts or recommendations on situations which could form the basis for future case development, the PDC is interested in hearing from you.

Questions, comments and expressions of interest can be directed to:

Lori Walker, President, CAREB-ACCER @ [email protected]


CAREB-ACCER wishes to gratefully acknowledge the four cases which have been developed by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research/Secrétariat sur la conduite responsable de la recherche and provided to us for this purpose. In addition, the PDC has developed three cases, bringing the total number of cases created to date to seven.

vREB Case 1: "Influenza Transmission in Hutterite Colonies"

To participate in the vREB review of this case study, download and review the case description, and complete the online case review accessible here:

The case study analysis review form is also available for download to assist in your case review before submission through the online form.

Feedback submission deadline: November 11, 2016 (revised deadline) (if you would like your feedback included in the case debrief, please submit your feedback by 5:00 pm on this date).

(Please note that the case study analysis review form is currently only available in English.  We are working on providing a French language translation.)