The Health Research Authority (HRA) promotes and protects the interests of patients and the public in health and social research, with the overall goal of making it easier to do research that people can trust.

The CAG is an advisory committee managed by the HRA, which delivers an important role set out in legislation. It considers applications to access confidential patient information without consent under the NHS Act 2006 and the Health Service (Control of Patient Information Regulations) 2002.

Patient and service user data can help our understanding of health and care but accessing it without consent is a privilege and needs to be carefully managed. CAG considers applications focusing on patient privacy and how data can be used appropriately to give the public confidence.

The CAG is made up of volunteer members who give their time to make a difference. The work is varied but includes some of the biggest challenges we face in health and social care today, from cancer to dementia, and more recently COVID-19.

Despite having different roles and experiences, all members have a shared goal: to ensure the use of identifiable patient information is in the public interest and used legally.

They are looking for:

The HRA are looking for people who are interested in the ethical use of confidential healthcare information for research and NHS management purposes, but who may not have had specific experience in this field (or ‘lay’ members).

You might be interested in healthcare, research, or data, but do not need specific professional experience. You will work alongside expert members and bring a valued perspective to the review of applications.

Expected commitment from participants:

The HRA are looking for voluntary members who can commit to:

  • attending full CAG meetings virtually via Zoom. Meetings are generally held every other Thursday morning. We ask that members attend a minimum of seven meetings a year. Meetings last about three to four hours and require five to six hours of reading in preparation
  • taking part in sub-committee work via email. This involves reviewing applications that share the same issues that have previously been reviewed by CAG or reviewing amendments to approved CAG applications. Sub-committee work is in addition to full CAG meetings. Members usually get involved in this approximately two to three times a year with three hours of reading for each sub-committee meeting
  • reviewing applications and amendments electronicallythrough our members’ portal or email
  • taking part in induction trainingwithin your first six months of appointment, and equality and diversity training within your first year of appointment
  • attending two CAG ‘away days’ per yearin London which is an opportunity to meet your fellow members and discuss and learn about important issues. (Travel expenses are paid).

Commitment to inclusion:

The HRA is committed to supporting those with access needs and providing adjustments where possible, including alternative formats of documents or meeting information.

They offer training and meetings primarily online, with some face to face. If you attend a face to face event, travel expenses will be reimbursed in line with the HRA committee members reimbursement of expenses guidance.

Please contact if you require any support.

Closing date to apply: Friday 3rd May 2024


Find out more on the HRA website: Become a CAG member – Health Research Authority (

And request an application form here: Request a Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) member application form – Health Research Authority (

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