Language selection

Search

Policy On The Responsible Conduct Of Research And Development

Introduction:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Development outlines the criteria and guiding principles for conducting research and development at, or on behalf of, the CFIA. It provides an explicitly stated ethical framework within which all research and development should be conducted in, or for, the CFIA and it forms an integral part of the Agency's Values and Ethics Strategy: A Framework for Ethical Decision Making.

The Policy is guided by the CFIA's Code of Conduct and by the following CFIA Statement of Values:

The Policy is also guided by the Values and Ethics Code of the Public Service, which sets out the core values and ethics that must guide public servants in all their professional activities. The core values of this code are as follows:

This policy is consistent with the statement from the Tri-Council (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), titled Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship. It follows closely the recommendations of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research (2006), and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007).

This policy recognizes the importance of the role that the CFIA plays as a federal regulator. All CFIA employees, including those involved in research and development, understand that their actions can have a serious impact on human, animal and plant health; on the Canadian economy and trade; and on the environment. Therefore, they understand that they must respect the decisions of the CFIA with respect to the disposition of their work.

Effective date:

This policy took effect on March 1, 2010.

Definitions:

Research: as it applies to the activities of the CFIA, is scientific investigation, analysis or synthesis conducted by the CFIA, alone, or with collaborating organizations, in order to produce new knowledge or new technology. Research results must support sound, risk-based decision making, policy development and implementation, and program delivery by the CFIA. Products of research must be innovative, must meet the needs and mandate of the CFIA and must provide value to Canadians (that is, enhance public good).

Development: is systematic work which draws on existing knowledge and technology derived from research and practical experience. It is aimed at producing new knowledge and/or producing or improving methods, devices or reagents.

Research and development: often employs technology transfer, including the installation, application and validation of new methods or processes.

Research and development misconduct: is taken here to mean fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research and development. It does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretation of data. Misconduct in research and development is constituted by a failure to comply with the provisions of this policy.

Policy statement:

The conduct of research and subsequent development is fundamental to the delivery of the CFIA mission. Research and development results can be used in key policy decisions. These results support sound, risk-based decision making, policy development and implementation, and program delivery.

The CFIA is a federal regulator. All CFIA employees, including research scientists and scientific professionals, recognize that their actions can have serious impact on human, animal and plant health; on the Canadian economy and trade; and on the environment. They therefore must respect the decisions of the CFIA with respect to the disposition of their work.

The CFIA has high standards for research and development, which apply to all its employees who perform research and development and to those external persons who perform research and development on its behalf. Employees of the CFIA must adhere to high standards in their research and development work because failure to meet acceptable standards damages not only the researcher but also his or her colleagues and the reputation of the CFIA and the Government of Canada at large. It can also impact negatively on the parties regulated, and the public served, by the CFIA. The CFIA does not permit the integrity of its research and development programs to be placed in doubt, for any reason.

Scope:

This policy applies to all employees of the CFIA, including students, who conduct research and development. It also applies, in principle, to external persons working on research and development projects conducted under the auspices of the CFIA, where the CFIA provides resources/funding.

General ethical and safety considerations:

It is expected that CFIA employees conducting research and development are committed to high standards of professional conduct. Employees have a duty to ensure that their research and development work enhances the good name of the CFIA and the discipline to which they belong.

  1. Employees should participate only in work: sanctioned by the CFIA through the appropriate CFIA approval processes; which conforms to accepted ethical, and safety, standards; and which they are competent to perform. Where an employee is in doubt about the CFIA Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Development, advice should be sought from the director/manager of the appropriate CFIA laboratory; the appropriate laboratory executive director; or the research national managers of Science Branch at the CFIA's head office. Advice may also be sought from relevant research and development and other approval committees, and laboratory ethics and safety committees (for example, animal care). Employees should also refer to the second edition of the CFIA's National Laboratory Safety Manual.
  2. Employees should observe any special standards of work performance and ethical conduct. This includes those imposed by law (for example, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, etc.), by guidelines of regulatory agencies (for example, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Canadian Council on Animal Care, etc.), or by the CFIA in relation to particular types of research and development.
  3. In general, research results and methods should be open to scrutiny by colleagues within the CFIA, and, through appropriate publication, by the profession at large. Confidentiality may be necessary for a limited period in the case of contracted research or of non-contractual research, which is under consideration for patent protection.

Guiding principles:

The CFIA Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Development prescribes standards of work performance and ethical conduct expected of all persons (including students engaged in research and development at, and for, the CFIA, based upon the following guiding principles:

  1. The CFIA is a federal regulator. All CFIA employees, including researchers, recognize that their actions can have a serious impact on human, animal and plant health; on the Canadian economy and trade; and on the environment. They therefore respect the decisions of the CFIA with respect to the disposition of their work.
  2. Employees have an obligation to achieve and maintain the highest standards of intellectual honesty in the conduct of their research and development.
  3. Employees should, in all aspects of their research and development:
    1. demonstrate integrity and professionalism,
    2. observe fairness and equity,
    3. avoid real, perceived or apparent conflicts of interest, and
    4. ensure the safety of those associated with the research and development.
  4. Research and development methods and results should usually be open to scrutiny and debate by other CFIA staff and, through publication, by the profession.
  5. Research and development findings shall not be reported in the public media before they have been reported to, and accepted for publication or dissemination by, relevant CFIA management and programs including laboratory directors/managers and laboratory executive directors.
  6. The CFIA recognizes that, when researchers and scientists suspect results may impact public policy or concern the public, they must seek advice from their laboratory director/manager and laboratory executive director or the research national manager at the CFIA's head office, who will consult with the appropriate CFIA authorities.
  7. Where there is private reporting of research and development that has not yet been exposed to peer review scrutiny, especially when it is reported to prospective financial supporters, employees have an obligation to explain fully the status of the work and the peer-review mechanisms to which it will be subjected.
  8. Employees must be aware of, and adhere to, ethical principles of justice and veracity, and of respect for people and their privacy and avoidance of harm to them, as well as respect for non-human subjects of research.
  9. Where research and development procedures are of a kind requiring approval by the animal care committees of the CFIA laboratories, or by other validly constituted regulatory committees, research and development must not proceed without such approval.
  10. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that published reports, statistics and public statements about research activities and performance are complete, accurate and unambiguous.
  11. Employees must familiarize themselves with the CFIA Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Development and ensure that its provisions are observed.
  12. Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy may be grounds for disciplinary action.
  13. In case of doubt concerning the integrity of the conduct of research and development work, employees must seek advice from the appropriate CFIA laboratory director/manager, the appropriate laboratory executive director, and/or the research national manager at the CFIA's head office.

Specific requirements:

1. Data storage and retention

2. Publication and authorship

3. Supervision of students

4. Disclosure of conflicts of interest

5. Research and development misconduct

The CFIA Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing sets out an internal mechanism to receive and manage information related to the disclosure of wrongdoing; ensures that disclosures are reviewed and investigated in a timely manner; and ensures that appropriate administrative and disciplinary measures are in place to correct instances of wrongdoing. This policy addresses wrongdoing as defined in the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and as such is not intended to replace existing redress/recourse mechanisms such as those outlined in Sections 5.3 to 5.9, inclusive.

Managerial responsibility:

The Vice-President, Science Branch is responsible for monitoring the overall compliance with this policy and its implementation within the CFIA. Directors/managers of appropriate CFIA laboratories are responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy within their laboratories.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: