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RITHIM Launch FAQ

Last updated: February 10, 2022

Please visit regularly as these FAQs will be updated as additional questions are received from stakeholders.

We encourage you to share the link to this document with colleagues, students, staff, and stakeholders.

Research Improvements Through Harmonization In Manitoba (RITHIM) launched on January 1, 2022.

An important first step to launching RITHIM was amendments made to the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), this was proclaimed on January 1, 2022, and enabled:

  • Formal implementation of the RITHIM program

  • Establishment of the Provincial Health Research Privacy Committee (PHRPC) as the authority to provide approval for research projects requesting USE of personal health information maintained by any Manitoba Trustee, including by government or government agency

  • Establishment of the Committee for Harmonized Health Impact, Ethics and Privacy Review (CHIPER) to approve research projects requiring privacy review prior to PHRPC decision.

A transition plan was developed to launch RITHIM, to comply with the changes to PHIA and allow for necessary changes to policies and procedures within stakeholder organizations to occur.  To support research, temporary changes were minimized during this initial implementation of RITHIM.

The full RITHIM program, including the electronic Provincial Research Administration System (RITHIM PRAS) will be implemented later in 2022.

CHANGES FOR JANUARY 1, 2022 - Required to comply with PHIA legislation

Personal Health Information/Privacy Applications

  • The PHIA amendments bring a NEW REQUIREMENT for researchers. Effective January 1, PHRPC is the ONLY committee that has authority to provide approval for research projects requesting USE of personal health information in Manitoba, however maintained by any Trustee, including by government or government agency.

    • Trustees retain the authority to approve DISCLOSURE of personal health information maintained by a Trustee (grant access and provide data).

    • For researchers, this generally means that ALL requests for research projects for USE of personal health information, maintained by a Manitoba Trustee, REQUIRE PHRPC approval. To determine if your research requires PHRPC review please visit Does my research require PHRPC review.
      For additional information on PHRPC, including submission forms, please visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/index.html.

    • To accommodate the introduction of the new Provincial Health Research Privacy Committee (PHRPC), researchers use forms similar to the current Health Information Privacy Committee’s (HIPC) application forms which have been modified for use by PHRPC.

  • PHRPC REQUIRES satisfactory confirmation that the proposed research project has been approved by CHIPER, prior to its decision.

    • For the initial January 1 implementation, CHIPER is now responsible for ensuring that the Research Ethics Boards have approved a research project prior to PHRPC review and decision.

    • Researchers DO NOT have to complete an application for CHIPER.

    • The form and mandate of CHIPER will evolve with the full implementation of the RITHIM Program.

    • For this initial implementation, CHIPER does not conduct an ethics review and therefore, has been established as a smaller committee with members from the existing University of Manitoba Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) and Biomedical Research Ethics Board (BREB) memberships. Additional members will join CHIPER once the full launch of the RITHIM program occurs later in 2022.

Organizational Impact Applications

  • Researchers continue to use existing processes. Trustees retain the authority to approve DISCLOSURE of personal health information maintained by that Trustee (grant access and provide data).

Research Ethics Board Applications

  • Researchers continue to use existing processes. Ethics Board approval is required as input to CHIPER and PHRPC decisions.

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RITHIM – Frequently Asked Questions

The focus of these FAQs is the changes following the launch of RITHIM on January 1, 2022.  Additional information about the electronic Provincial Research Administration System (RITHIM PRAS) and implementation of the full RITHIM mandate will be forthcoming later in 2022.

Still have questions?  Please email rithim@researchmb.ca.

Common Acronyms

CHIPER - Committee for Harmonized Health Impact, Privacy, and Ethics Review – CHIPER has evolved with the initial implementation on January 1, 2022 and will launch the Provincial Research Administration System (RITHIM PRAS) later in 2022.

    • As of January 1, 2022, CHIPER has been established as required by the PHIA legislative changes, in order to approve research projects prior to consideration for decision by the new Provincial Health Research Committee (PHRPC)

    • Later in 2022, CHIPER will become the new provincial health research ethics board that replaces the University of Manitoba (UM) Biomedical Research Ethics Board (BREB) and Health Research Ethics Board (HREB). It will continue to operate under RITHIM and will meet monthly with PHRPC to review applications (see below). It will review all health research ethics applications in Manitoba.

  • RITHIM - Research Improvements Through Harmonization In Manitoba - RITHIM is a new provincial program for harmonizing health research reviews in Manitoba. An initial implementation of RITHIM began on January 1, 2022, which included the creation of two new committees (See CHIPER and PHRPC below), RITHIM staff and supports for stakeholders.  Later in 2022, the role of RITHIM will expand to include its full mandate and introduce a new software solution to support applications and reviews (see RITHIM PRAS below).

  • PHRPC - Provincial Health Research Privacy Committee - PHRPC replaced the Health Information Privacy Committee (HIPC). Effective January 1, PHRPC is the ONLY committee that has authority to provide approval for research projects requesting USE of personal health information in Manitoba, however maintained by any Trustee, including by government or government agency.  PHRPC is made up of members appointed by the Manitoba Health Minister.

    • As of January 1, 2022, PHRPC was established as required by PHIA, and sits independently to review research projects requesting USE of personal health information, however maintained by a Trustee.

  • PI - Principal Investigator - The lead researcher on a team who is responsible for the overall research including:

    • conducting research and research-related activities ethically;

    • managing results of any actions of any member of the research team at a local site, in compliance with policies, terms and conditions; and

    • authorizing activity and expenses on a funded research project.

  • RITHIM PRAS - Provincial Research Administration System - RITHIM PRAS is RITHIM's electronic application that will be used for all health research ethics, privacy, and impact applications and reviews. It is currently in development, and we expect it to be ready later in 2022.

What changed for PIs on January 1, 2022?

  • Personal Health Information/Privacy assessment

    • The PHIA amendments bring a NEW REQUIREMENT for researchers. Effective January 1, PHRPC is the ONLY committee that has authority to provide approval for research projects requesting USE of personal health information in Manitoba, however maintained by any Manitoba Trustee.

    • PHRPC review is required if your study requires access to personal health information maintained by any Manitoba Trustee (health institution, government/government agency, non-government organization or Manitoba Centre for Health Policy).

    • Trustees retain the authority to approve DISCLOSURE of personal health information maintained by that Trustee (grant access and provide data).

    • For researchers, this generally means that ALL requests for research projects for USE of personal health information in Manitoba, maintained by a Manitoba Trustee, REQUIRE PHRPC approval. To determine if your research requires PHRPC review please visit Does my research require PHRPC review
      For additional information on PHRPC, including submission forms, please visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/index.html.

    • With the launch of the RITHIM Provincial Research Administration System – RITHIM PRAS, later in 2022, a single electronic application form will be used, eliminating the need for this separate form.

    • Please complete a PHRPC Application Form at https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/submission.html and email one (1) signed copy to the RITHIM Coordinator at PHRPC@researchmb.ca.

    • Any proposed changes to a research project that was approved by the HIPC or PHRPC must be reported to PHRPC for review and approval. Please complete a Protocol Amendment Form at https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/researchers.html and email one (1) signed copy to the RITHIM Coordinator at PHRPC@researchmb.ca.

    • For all applications that received conditional approval from the HIPC committee prior to January 1, 2022, applicants have one (1) year from the date of the conditional approval to resubmit to the HIPC for review. The HIPC chair is being retained for a period of one (1) year to facilitate the completion of conditional approvals. Please email the pending documents and responses to conditional approval letter to HIPC@gov.mb.ca for review and full approval. If the requested information is not submitted within this time period a new application will need to be submitted to the PHRPC.

    • For applications involving First Nations, Metis, or Inuit populations and communities, evidence of appropriate approvals is required by PHRPC before it will render a decision.

  • Organizational Impact Applications

    • Researchers should continue to use existing processes.  Trustees retain the authority to approve DISCLOSURE of personal health information maintained by that Trustee (grant access and provide data).

  • Research Ethics Board Applications

    • Researchers should continue to use existing processes. Ethics Board approval is required as input to CHIPER and PHRPC decisions.

    • Researchers are not required to submit applications for CHIPER review.  RITHIM staff will work with REB staff to coordinate inclusion of approved studies for CHIPER review.

What changes for REBs on January 1, 2022?

  • Researchers continue to use existing processes. Ethics Board approval is required as input to CHIPER and PHRPC decisions.

  • For studies where a researcher has submitted a PHRPC application, RITHIM staff work with REB staff to coordinate inclusion of approved studies for CHIPER review

How do applications flow through the committees as of January 1, 2022?

  • Researchers are responsible to submit applications for organizational impact review.

  • Researchers are responsible to submit applications to REBs for ethics review.

  • Researchers are responsible to submit applications to PHRPC for privacy review (if required).

    • Generally, PHRPC review is required if your study requests or requires personal health information maintained by any Manitoba Trustee (health institution, government/government agency, non-government organization or Manitoba Centre for Health Policy). To determine if your research requires PHRPC review please visit Does my research require PHRPC review.

    • REB and PHRPC applications should be submitted at the same time.

  • Researchers DO NOT have to complete an application for CHIPER.

    • RITHIM staff work with REB staff to coordinate inclusion of approved studies for CHIPER review.

  • CHIPER meets to ensure that REB approvals are complete prior to adding to the PHRCP agenda.

  • RITHIM staff coordinates the inclusion of CHIPER approvals on the PHRPC agenda.


What changes for Organizational Impact Reviews on January 1, 2022?

  • Researchers should continue to use existing processes.

  • Trustees retain the authority to approve DISCLOSURE of personal health information maintained by that Trustee (grant access and provide data).

  • Trustee approval for DISCLOSURE requires PHRPC approval for USE.


What forms will PHRPC use until the electronic application system launches?

  • Please complete a PHRPC initial Application Form at https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/submission.html and email one (1) signed copy to the RITHIM Coordinator at PHRPC@researchmb.ca.

  • Any proposed changes to a research project that was approved by the HIPC or PHRPC must be reported to PHRPC for review and approval. Please complete a Protocol Amendment Form at https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hipc/researchers.html and email one (1) signed copy to the RITHIM Coordinator at PHRPC@researchmb.ca.

  • For all applications that received conditional approval from the HIPC committee prior to January 1, 2022, applicants have one (1) year from the date of the conditional approval to resubmit to the HIPC for review. Please email the pending documents and responses to conditional approval letter to HIPC@gov.mb.ca for review and full approval. If the requested information is not submitted within this time period a new application will need to be submitted to the PHRPC.

What if a project was conditionally approved by a REB or HIPC prior to January 1, 2022?

  • If a project was conditionally approved by HIPC:

    • For all applications that received conditional approval from the HIPC committee prior to January 1, 2022, applicants have one (1) year from the date of the conditional approval to resubmit to the HIPC for review. Please email the pending documents and responses to conditional approval letter to HIPC@gov.mb.ca for review and full approval. If the requested information is not submitted within this time period a new application will need to be submitted to the PHRPC.

  • If a project was conditionally approved by an REB:

    • Please submit final documents and additional information using the existing forms and processes on the original REB website.

How are post-approval forms such as amendments/annual renewals/study closures, etc. handled after January 1, 2022?

  • PHRPC review is required if your study requires access to personal health information maintained by any Manitoba Trustee (health institution, government/government agency, non-government organization or Manitoba Centre for Health Policy).

  • If a project was approved by PHRPC:

  • If a project was approved by a REB:

    • Please submit post-approval forms using the existing forms and processes on the original REB website.

Do I need to submit PHRPC and REB applications at the same time?

  • Yes. This helps us harmonize the review process and will save applicants’ time! We ask that researchers submit applications for PHRPC and REB approval at the same time, if both are required.

  • With the launch of the RITHIM Provincial Research Administration System, later in 2022, a single electronic application form will be used, eliminating the need to submit multiple applications.

Have post-secondary institutions outside of the University of Manitoba been involved in the development of RITHIM?

  • Yes, RITHIM has had consultation with, and participation from, many post-secondary institutions, the health system and service delivery organizations, government and industry.

How is health research involving First Nations, Metis or Inuit affected by RITHIM's launch?

  • Evidence of appropriate approvals is required by PHRPC.

  • With the launch of the Provincial Research Administration System – RITHIM PRAS, later in 2022, applicants will submit evidence of the appropriate approvals within RITHIM PRAS. Numerous Indigenous groups have been engaged in the creation of questions on our electronic application form.

What are the timelines for PHRPC Review?

  • PHRPC meets to review applications once a month. Feedback and decisions are communicated to the applicants according to published schedules.

  • PHRPC REQUIRES satisfactory confirmation that the proposed research project has been approved by CHIPER, prior to its decision. 

    • For the initial January 1, 2022, implementation CHIPER became responsible for ensuring that the Research Ethics Board decisions have been completed prior to the PHRPC decision.

    • The form and mandate of CHIPER will evolve with the full implementation of the RITHIM Program.

    • For this initial implementation, CHIPER has not undertook review and approval for ethics, and therefore, was established as a smaller committee with members from the existing University of Manitoba Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) and Biomedical Research Ethics Board (BREB) memberships. Additional members will join CHIPER once the full launch of the RITHIM program has occurred later in 2022.

When are the PHRPC application deadlines and reviews?

First Three (3) PHRPC Submission Deadlines of 2022:

#1 - January 5, 2022

#2 - February 7, 2022

#3 - March 7, 2022

PHRPC Meeting Dates
#1 - January 26, 2022

#2 - March 2, 2022

#3 - March 30, 2022

Estimated PHRPC Notification Dates

#1 - February 9, 2022

#2 - March 16, 2022

#3 - April 13, 2022