HREBA – Use of Electronic Signatures

The Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (HREBA) uses the Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) which is managed and maintained by the University of Calgary to administer ethics applications being submitted to the HREBA-Cancer Committee (CC), the Clinical Trials Committee (CTC), and the Community Health Committee (CHC). This includes initial, continuing and ongoing review and approval activities.

Chair / Designate Signature

With implementation of the IRISS system in 2014, the practice of inserting the signature of the HREBA Chair or designate on the approval letters/certificates was discontinued. There is now an electronic audit trail and authorization process, maintained by the IRISS system which constitutes an “electronic signature” as confirmation and validation that the approval was granted by the appropriate person under the circumstances indicated in the approval documentation.

Principal Investigator Signature

Similarly, when a Principal Investigator (PI) submits an application for initial, continuing or ongoing review, by clicking the submit button it is considered verification that they have reviewed and are in agreement with the contents of their submission. These activities also involve an electronic audit trail and authorization/attestation process.

System Access

Roles within IRISS are assigned upon request from potential users and confirmed using an individual’s Curriculum Vitae.  All IRISS accounts are password-protected and can only be accessed by the owner of that account.  Please note the terms and conditions for accessing IRISS.


This information is available as a pdf document.