Our Journey


The Community Research Ethics Board of Directors is pleased to announce that CREO recently (2015) successfully completed receiving its federal incorporation as the Community Research Ethics Office (Canada) Corp.

The development of the Community Research Ethics Office was based on a need for ethics review and protocols in Community Based Research. Implemented in 2011 and initially funded by the Centre for Community Based Research, CREO responds to the needs of community researchers to easily access an ethical support and review process.

The development of CREO took place in four distinct phases between 2008 and 2011.

Initial Community Meeting (2008)

In January 2008, the Centre For Community Based Research hosted an open community meeting to discuss the need and vision for ethical reviews of community based research in Waterloo Region. The meeting was attended by over 45 representatives from local community organizations, social institutions, government, non-governmental funders, and academics. The purpose of this meeting was to determine if there is a local need for ethics review and protocols in CBR and if so, how this can be accomplished in Waterloo Region. A main finding from the meeting was a strong need for a collective response in the near term!

Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study (2008-2009)

In the fall of 2008, a steering committee was struck and their first action was to develop a needs assessment and feasibility study to better understand the challenges associated with community based research and possible future actions that could be taken. By September 2009, data collection was complete. In total, knowledge and ideas were shared by 74 people including academics, members of community organizations and peer researchers. Between September 2009 and January 2010, the information was analyzed and summarized with the purpose to share the findings and explore action strategies for action at another community forum.

Community Forum (2010)

On February 5th 2010, a community forum was held to share the findings from the needs assessment and feasibility study.The overarching purpose of the community forum was to use what we had learned to develop a feasible approach for improving ethical review of/support for research being conducted in the community that could be implemented in Waterloo Region. Community forum participants emphasized four suggestions that they would like to see implemented in Waterloo Region.

  • An accessible consultation service for support and education pertaining to research being conducted in the community
  • A formal review process for research projects and proposals in the community
  • Ongoing training and workshops related to community research and ethics
  • An online resource to provide provide updated resources and to showcase what is happening in the community pertaining to community research and ethics.

 Implementation of CREO (2011)

Since the 2010 community forum, the steering committee had grown in size and had been working hard to combine the feedback from the community forum into one actionable approach to providing ethical support for community research in Waterloo Region. When this process was complete, the steering committee in collaboration with Waterloo Region had developed CREO! At this time, the steering committee submitted a grant application to the Trillium Foundation to support the implementation of CREO. This application was successful and now, here we are ready to support and strengthen community research in Waterloo Region!