Our Code of Ethical Behaviour

CIRCAN is a collaborative network of investigators who share their intellectual property and resources for the common goal of undertaking research in paediatric inpatient care.

In order to promote the free flow of ideas among CIRCAN members, there must be an expectation of ethical behaviour among participants. Collaborative research can only flourish in an atmosphere of openness and trust.

Every CIRCAN membermust agree to follow this code of ethical behaviour. This expectation of ethical behaviour extends to interactions with industry and other funding partners.

Ethical behaviour among investigators

The intellectual property of a CIRCAN protocol belongs primarily to the principal investigator(s) and secondarily to the participating investigators.

When a protocol is introduced to CIRCAN by an investigator, other CIRCAN investigators should declare any real or potential conflicts of interest and absent themselves from further discussions of the protocol. Such conflicts include, but are not limited to, developing or implementing, or intending to develop or implement, a similar protocol with the same or other funding agency outside of the CIRCAN framework.

Once a CIRCAN investigator has agreed to participate in a particular study, the investigator should not undertake any conflicting study that could interfere with the capability to perform the CIRCAN study.

In the event that a CIRCAN study is not implemented, a participating investigator should not undertake a similar study without prior discussion to determine whether the study impinges on the intellectual property of the CIRCAN study. This applies to studies with the same or other funding agencies.

Prior to beginning a study, rules of interaction should be established between investigators. These rules should govern the performance of supplementary studies, additional use of clinical material derived from the study, and use of the data (presentation, publication).

Research proposal review materials and meeting discussions are privileged communications prepared only for use by CIRCAN Investigator Group members.

Ethical behaviour in interactions with industry partners

When an industry-generated protocol is presented to CIRCAN for consideration, the protocol remains the intellectual property of the industry participant and confidentiality must be maintained. The protocol should not be modified or used by CIRCAN investigators without the permission of the industry partner.

When an investigator-generated protocol is submitted to industry for consideration, it remains the intellectual property of CIRCAN and confidentiality should be maintained. The protocol should not be modified or used by industry without the permission of CIRCAN.

CIRCAN expects that industry partners who choose not to fund a CIRCAN study will not undertake the same or similar studies with a CIRCAN member without the approval of CIRCAN.

Breaches of ethics by CIRCAN members or by industry representatives

Allegations of breaches of ethical behaviour by CIRCAN members will be brought to the attention of the CIRCAN Executive Committee, which will serve as the review committee of CIRCAN. This process will be strictly confidential.

After an investigation into the circumstances of the alleged incident, including written testimony by involved parties, the CIRCAN Executive Committee will make a judgement. The parties involved (the complainant and the alleged offender) will be informed of the decision in writing.

Sanctions available for breaches of ethical behaviour by a CIRCAN member will include a written warning, suspension, or expulsion. Notice of the decision will also be sent to the appropriate individual responsible for the member’s academic performance.

Sanctions available for breaches of ethical behaviour by industry will include, but are not limited to, a written warning, and suspension of interactions (research and other) by CIRCAN members with the offending party.

Appeals of Executive Committee decisions can be made to an appeals committee comprised of one member representative from each CIRCAN affiliate institution.