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Ministry of Health

Academic Research - New Data Requests and Amendments

Population Data BC assists academic researchers with completing the harmonized data access request application for health data access and submits the application package to the Ministry of Health on the researcher's behalf.

Please visit the Population Data BC website to download the application form and contact the Research Liaison Unit to receive assistance. Preparation of the harmonized data access request takes time, thoughtful planning, and attention to detail. A well prepared application package is an important step to ensure timely access to requested Ministry of Health data.

The Process

Completing the Data Access Request

The researcher works with Population Data BC staff in completing the data access request and preparing the application package.

Submission to the Ministry

Population Data BC, on behalf of the researcher, submits the application package to the ministry for review.

Criteria Check

The ministry performs a criteria check within two weeks of receiving a new application package. The criteria check is a preliminary assessment of any major issues, including completeness and accuracy. The ministry will then assign a project number and a corresponding category. Details regarding project categories are provided at the following website.

If the application package does not meet the requirements of the criteria check, it will be returned to Population Data BC to work with the researcher for revision and resubmission.

In-depth Review

Once an application package has passed the criteria check, it is reviewed by a ministry analyst for appropriate use of the data according to legislation and policy. Part of the review process may include follow-up clarification questions to the researcher.

When the in-depth review is complete, the application package and recommendation is submitted to the chief data steward for decision.

Data Steward Decision and Notification

The chief data steward reviews the application package and approves or rejects the application.

The ministry sends a decision letter to the researcher, with copies to Population Data BC and all relevant data stewards.

Data Preparation and Delivery

If the application is approved by all relevant data stewards, Population Data BC begins data preparation activities.

From here, data will be released to the researcher according to the specifications set out in the data access request agreement and approval letter.

Amendments to Data Access Requests (if applicable)

After an application has been approved, occasionally a researcher may decide to request one or more amendments to the project. Some examples for amendment requests are:

  • Data retention extension.
  • Addition of graduate student.
  • Additional years of data.
  • Additional data files/fields.

For all amendments, Population Data BC will assist researchers in the amendment application process. These amendment applications are submitted to all data stewards that have approved the original application.

Research Outputs

All written materials intended for public dissemination as an outcome of the research project must be submitted to the ministry, via Population Data BC for review and comment prior to release. The ministry is committed to providing feedback/comments within 45 business days of submission.

Project Closure

Upon completion of the research, Population Data BC will work with researchers to ensure data destruction compliance, and necessary project closure documents are completed and submitted to the ministry.