Research that falls under the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (WMO) must be reviewed by an independent committee of experts. The research may not begin without a positive decision by this committee.
There are two types of reviewing committees:
The reviewing committees and the CCMO are independent administrative agencies (ZBOs). This means that they are governmental bodies. They have legal jurisdiction to make decisions that are binding to citizens (in this case, decisions on the basis of the WMO).
A non-accredited research committee is not a ZBO and has no jurisdiction to make WMO decisions.
The law determines whether a research must be reviewed by the CCMO or an accredited MREC. This is laid down in the Central Review Decree (Besluit Centrale Beoordeling, BCB). For further explanation, if you are for example an inexperienced investigator, see reviewing Committee: MREC or CCMO. In practice the accredited MRECs review the majority of research protocols. This map gives a geographical overview of all accredited MRECs in the Netherlands.