Sep 072012

HSC R&D Division announces the publication of new guidelines for Attributing the costs of health and social care Research & Development (AcoRD) for Northern Ireland.  This announcement brings Northern Ireland in line with England, Wales and Scotland who published guidance earlier this year.

AcoRD provides a framework for the identification, attribution and, where relevant, recovery of the various costs associated with research in the HSC, in a transparent, robust and consistent manner.  Clarification is also provided between the three categories of costs associated with non-commercial research studies:

  • Research Costs
  • HSC Support Costs
  • HSC Treatment Costs

AcoRD guidance will apply to new studies only.  A new study is defined as a study where the outline grant application is submitted to the funder after 1 October 2012.

While drawing on well-established attribution principles the release of the AcoRD guidance in Northern Ireland is an important step forward in clarifying the principles for attributing the costs of HSC research.  AcoRD also provides a new mechanism to meet some of the costs of high quality peer reviewed charity-funded research in the HSC.  It recognises the important contribution research charities make to the HSC research environment and recognises the source of their donation based funding – patients and the public.  See also the reference to AcoRD on the AMRC website.

The AcoRD guidance and two associated Annexes are attached (below) for your information.  Annex A provides an exemplar set of common activities that have been attributed to the three specific cost categories and Annex B provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  These Annexes will be updated as required and users should ensure that they refer to the latest version when attributing the costs of research.

HSC R&D Division will be running a series of workshops to help researchers apply the AcoRD guidance and to explore the issues around identifying, attributing and recovering costs.  Details of these will be announced in October.  In the interim help is available from the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network Co-ordinating Centre, the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network Co-ordinating Centre, Trust Research Offices or HSC R&D Division.

Copies of the AcoRD guidance and its accompanying Annexes will be available in due course from the HSC R&D Division website.  You are advised to ensure that you are using an up-to-date version of Annexes A and B as these will be updated to reflect experience in the implementation of AcoRD.


HSC R&D Division

Attachments: AcoRD guidance – FINAL, AcoRD – Annex A – FINAL, AcoRD – Annex B – FINAL


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