In 2000, in recognition of the fact that to comply with established international guidelines, research must receive appropriate ethical and scientific review, WHO published operational guidelines for research ethics committees. These bring together previous recommendations concerning the minimum requirements for the proper functioning of research ethics committees and are intended to facilitate and support ethical review of research, and ensure that it is of appropriate quality. The role of a committee is set out, followed by a discussion of how to establish a system of ethical review, the constitution of an ethics committee (including membership requirements, terms and conditions of appointments, training for members and independent consultants), the requirements for submitting an application for review, the review procedure (including elements of the review and decision-making processes), follow-up and documentation procedures. Online versions of the guidelines are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, and Thai. A complementary guide was issued in February 2002 entitled Surveying and evaluating ethical review practices. {{LINK_LABEL_GO_TO_DOCUMENT}}