Navigating the CIOMS 2016 International Ethical Guidelines

Navigating the CIOMS 2016 International Ethical Guidelines

Course overview

This course will help you to grasp and to navigate the 2016 CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Health-related research. 

At the end of the course you will ...

  • be able to navigate the Guidelines in order to find the Guidelines applicable to your case.
  • have a comprehensive idea of the topics described in the Guidelines.
  • understand the position of CIOMS on specific issues, such as the use of placebo or the level of acceptable risks.

Five 5 case studies have been provided by WHO. All cases are real and were reviewed within the ERC committee of WHO. The information presented is a generalized summary of the protocol.The cases may raise more issues than the course addresses. The purpose of this course is not to identify all questions that may arise and need ethical scrutiny, but to guide the reader to find answers regarding particular questions using the Guidelines and to correctly locate all the pertinent sections of the guidelines addressing those questions.

This course is not intended to revisit the ethics approval process of the studies, therefore details of this process are not provided. The goal is for participants to reflect on and identify which paragraphs in the CIOMS Guidelines would be applicable to each case, rather than to focus on finding the correct answer to the ethical dilemmas presented in the case. 


After completion of the course you will receive a certificate. In order to obtain a certificate the participant must answer the questions to all 5 cases. Regardless of whether correct or incorrect navigation answers are ticked. The participant will learn more about the correct navigation answer and about the way to navigate the Guidelines through explanations that are given after an answer is chosen.

This certificate is not equivalent to research to professional research ethics training that may be required for healthcare workers who design and conduct human subjects research and for memberships of research ethics committees. Nonetheless, those who use the CIOMS Guidelines are recommended to follow the course.

Entry requirements

*The first page requests you to create a user account before beginning the training module.