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Covid-19 Coronavirus - Advice for Members

January 16th, 2023

Joint statement from the Chairs of the BHBIA Board, Ethics & Compliance Committee, and the Fieldwork Forum Leadership Team
Updated January 2023

Following an assessment of the current situation, the MRS withdrew their Covid guidance from 1 January 2023. 

They have noted that:

  • "Whilst the specific Covid-19 guidance is being withdrawn, practitioners must remember their overarching responsibilities to protect participants, interviewers and colleagues when undertaking data collection activities.
  • We recommend that practitioners consider the processes and protocols they introduced to manage the risks from Covid-19 and determine which they will retain to provide the protection and assurances needed to continue undertake data collection safely and responsibly.
  • If the Covid-19 situation worsens in the future, we may to have re-visit this decision. But we hope that after nearly three years since the mandatory guidance was first introduced, we are now in a position where it is no longer necessary."

The BHBIA follows the MRS lead in removing specific guidance, but in line with the points above, we encourage members to continue to:

  • Be mindful of the particular sensitivities attached to healthcare settings and continue to take a careful
    and sensitive approach, being considerate of individual needs and priorities and your responsibility to protect vulnerable groups, participants and the reputation of the profession. 
  • Stay flexible and be ready to respond to any changes in the future that may warrant a return to greater caution.

It is the responsibility of research practitioners to keep abreast of any legislation which could affect research. We also strongly advise that you make sure you are aware of and follow the latest government guidance. The guidance the BHBIA provide is in addition to any mandatory government requirements in place.

Paul O'Nions - BHBIA Chairman 

Matt Beckett - Chair, BHBIA Ethics & Compliance Committee 

The Fieldwork Forum Leadership Team

Further information

MRS guidance:

Government guidance:

BHBIA resources: