Research that falls under the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (WMO)  and/or the Embryo Act (version 3-4-2007) (Embryowet, in Dutch) must first be submitted to an accredited medical research ethics committee or the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO). In certain cases the CCMO acts as reviewing committee.

The legislator has made a strict distinction between research that falls under the jurisdiction of the CCMO and that of the accredited MRECs. In practice the majority of research protocols are reviewed by the accredited MRECs.

The reviewing committee reviews research protocols in accordance with the WMO. Without a positive decision from an independent committee of experts it is forbidden to carry out research which falls under the WMO.