UREC update in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and work relating to Activities Covered by the Human Tissue Act (2004)

Updated 25 March 2020

There is now a moratorium, with immediate effect, on all work related to the collection, use, storage and disposal of relevant material under the University of Westminster’s Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licence because:

  • The Research Laboratories are closed
  • There is no access to stored material in the research laboratories and HTA storage units
  • LN2 storage facilities are now off-site and without access

Risk assessments

All PIs and their research teams who are responsible for relevant material should review their risk assessments for storage of relevant material and identify how they will respond to any storage alarms they may receive. Any amendments to the risk assessment do not need to be submitted to UREC/CREC for review. A record should be kept by the PI.

If further advice is needed regarding Risk Assessments please contact the University HTA Designated Individual (HTA DI), Tony Madgwick by email at .

Collaborative external projects

University staff working externally on projects involving relevant material under a University of Westminster REC favourable opinion and HTA tracking number should consult the HTA DI ([email protected]) before continuing or initiating any work.

New research involving HTA relevant material

  • Please follow the advice from UREC on COVID-19 pandemic and research ethics updates. Currently all face-to-face research interaction eg participant interaction must cease immediately until further notice
  • Please regularly revisit the University’s Coronavirus Response page
  • Researchers may continue to submit new applications to UREC/CREC and reviews will continue to be conducted. However, as will be made clear on your outcome letter, you are not permitted to conduct any work on the collection, use, storage and disposal of relevant material until the moratorium on work under the HTA licence has been removed, and until further notice to that effect. Please consult the HTA DI for more information on this: