The Coordination Office for Human Research (kofam) ensures that the ethics committees and other supervisory authorities are coordinated and communicate. It also informs the public about the work of the ethics committees.
The Coordination Office for Human Research (kofam) is managed by the Federal Office of Public Health. Its duties are set down in Article 55 of the Human Research Act (HRA) and Article 10 of the HRA Organisation Ordinance (OrgO-HRA), which stipulate that kofam has the following duties:
- It ensures regular exchanges between the supervisory authorities concerned
- In cooperation with the ethics committees and, where appropriate, other supervisory authorities it can issue recommendations on authorisation and notification procedures
- It participates in the design and implementation of basic and further training for members of ethics committees
- It regularly informs the public about the work of the ethics committees
- It ensures regular exchanges with research representatives and institutions
- It issues guidelines on the content of the reports to be submitted by ethics committees to the FOPH
kofam has its own website at www.kofam.ch. The site contains comprehensive information for researchers and members of the public about research involving humans in Switzerland. It also incorporates the Swiss National Clinical Trials Portal (SNCTP), which publishes all clinical trials in Switzerland. Given that since 2014 it has been obligatory for all clinical trials in Switzerland to be registered on the SNTP, the portal makes an important contribution to ensuring transparency in research on humans.
Information on the work of the ethics committees
The Coordination Office for Human Research (kofam) provides the public with information about the work of the ethics committees. To this end, every year it produces an summary of the annual reports of the individual ethics committees. The summarised reports and a fact sheet containing general information on the Human Research Act and the ethics committees can be found under ‘Documents’. Since 2016, annual statistics on the type and number of research projects approved in Switzerland have also been published in cooperation with swissethics. The relevant statistical reports can also be found under ‘Documents’.
Last modification 05.10.2023