Ethical review is a formal process that is followed to ensure patient care or research proposals conform with ethical standards.
Multi-site research projects in Victoria are required to have one ethical and scientific review conducted by a human research ethics committee (HREC). The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) certifies each HREC. Each site involved with the research project must conduct its own research governance authorisation before the project can commence; the site specific assessment (SSA) form is used to address research governance.
All research projects require both ethical approval and research governance/SSA authorisation. Authorisation must occur at all organisations conducting the research before the research can begin there.
Applications are made via the ERM website. Note that the ethics application must be created before accessing the research governance SSA form.
Ethical and scientific review of multi-site research projects applies to any form of human research, as defined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) (or any replacement of that document published by the NHMRC).
An application must be made to a human research ethics committee for the purpose of conducting research at a public health organisation. This includes low and negligible risk review.
Victorian public health organisations have a formal agreement with the Department of Health & Human Services regarding their participation in the streamlined system. Details of participating sites are available on the SSA/research governance page. Some private health services will accept the ethical review decisions of the accredited reviewing HRECs.
Accredited reviewing HRECS
- Alfred Health
- Austin Health
- Melbourne Health
- Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
- The Royal Childrens Hospital
- Monash Health
- St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne)