8.1.1. Social Workers who undertake research shall do so for the purpose of advancing human welfare, knowledge and understanding, and examining cultural dynamics.

8.1.2. Social Workers shall direct their research towards the alleviation of human suffering, validating social or scientific theories, creating new knowledge, analyzing policy and understanding human behaviour and the evolving human condition.

8.1.3. Social Workers shall educate themselves and their students about responsible research practices.

8.1.4. Social Workers shall utilize only appropriately qualified personnel to carry out research, paying particular attention to qualifications required in conducting specialized techniques. It may be necessary to provide training.

8.1.5. Social Workers shall, when possible, submit research proposals to an appropriate scientific and ethical review prior to implementation of the research.

8.1.6. Social Workers shall identify conflicts of interest that may arise from family relationships, financial partnerships or other economic interests that may influence or be perceived to influence the Social Worker’s judgment in regard to the research.

8.1.7. Social Workers shall avoid the use of deception in research because of its negative implications for client well-being and for public trust in the profession.

8.1.8. Social Workers shall recognize the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples in regard to research, in particular that research involving Indigenous Peoples may also involve the communities and groups to which they belong. 1

8.2.1. Social Workers shall place the interests of research participants above the Social Workers’ personal interests or interests of the research project.

8.2.2. Social Workers shall consider carefully the possible consequences for individual and society before participating in or engaging in, proposed research and also when publishing research results.

8.2.3. Social Workers shall strive to protect research participants from physical, mental or emotional discomfort, distress, harm or deprivation.

8.2.4. Social Workers shall take appropriate steps to ensure that research participants have access to appropriate supportive services if necessary, for example, if a research subject finds a questionnaire distressing or if a potential research subject is upset about not being included in a study.

8.2.5. Social Workers shall ensure that due care has been taken to protect the privacy of research participants through attention to confidentiality requirements and specifications for storage of research records.

8.3.1. Social Workers shall obtain informed consent to take part in research from either the participants or their legally authorized representatives and shall offer children and others whose ability to provide consent is compromised for any reason the opportunity to express their assent or objection to research procedures and give their views due regard.

8.3.2. Social Workers shall ensure that consent is given voluntarily, without coercion, inferred disadvantage for refusal to participate, or inferred benefits for participating, and that participants are informed that they may withdraw from a study at any time without compromising any professional service being offered in the research project or future access to social work or other professional services.

8.3.3. Social Workers shall ensure that research participants’ identity or any identifying information obtained from or about participants during the research process is treated as confidential and that the identity of participants is separated from the data that is stored.

8.3.4. Social Workers shall ensure the anonymity of research participants is maintained in subsequent reports from research.

8.3.5. Social Workers shall store research material securely and for the required period indicated by relevant research ethics guidelines.

8.4.1. Social Workers shall report research results accurately and objectively, acknowledging the contributions of others, and respecting copyright law.

8.4.2. When feasible, Social Workers shall inform research participants or their legally authorized representatives of research results that are relevant to them.

8.4.3. When feasible, Social Workers shall bring to the attention of relevant bodies, research results that indicate or demonstrate social inequalities or injustices.

8.4.4. When using the data for publication or other purposes, the Social Worker conducting the research shall comply with the procedures established by the funder or employers as well as to the provisions governing royalties.

  1. Refer to three documents for details: Ethical Guidelines for Research, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Appendix E, 1993 ( Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North, College of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies, 1982 (; Principles and Elements for A Comprehensive Arctic Policy, The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, 1992. This standard also applies to other groups with society.