Many educational researchers have experienced challenges in obtaining ethics approval. This article explores some of the reasons why this is the case, looking specifically at the participatory action research methodology. The authors' experience of seeking ethics approval for a project intended to introduce peer review as an enhancement process is described. Initially, ethics clearance was denied. Details are provided of the iterative process that ultimately resulted in ethics approval, with particular reference to the differing views regarding the concepts of 'coercion' and 'confidentiality'.