Human Research is conducted with or about people, their data, and/or their tissue. The term ‘participants’ includes those individuals who may not even know they are the subjects of research. In Australia the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018) (National Statement), is in place to promote ethical human research. Fulfilment of this purpose requires that participants be accorded the respect and protection that is due to them. It also involves the fostering of research that is of benefit to the community.
Ethics approval is required for research projects involving human participants.
Research activities cannot commence until ethics approval has been provided in writing.
Retrospective ethics approval cannot be provided, as this contravenes the requirements of the National Statement.
Human Research Ethics Office
Once your ethics application has been submitted within ERM, the HRE Office will conduct an administrative compliance review and provide feedback.
The objectives of this compliance review are to:
- Provide constructive feedback to researchers to facilitate ethical research.
- Ensure that research projects align with the National Statement, relevant legislation and TUA policies.
- Ensure that participants are treated with respect.
The compliance review feedback will be provided within ERM at ‘comments’, with guidance statements and recommendations.
Researchers should carefully consider and address all comments before resubmitting the application. The compliance review, including researcher responses, will be accessed by the HREC when considering the application.
Further guidance documents and templates can be access at Help - Templates within ERM.
Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)
The Torrens University Australia HREC is registered with the NHMRC and meets regularly throughout the year. The HREC reviews research proposals involving human participants to ensure that they are ethically acceptable and in accordance with relevant standards and guidelines. In undertaking this role, the HREC is guided by the National Statement; refer to the TUA HREC Reviewer checklist (Help>Templates) used by HREC members when reviewing an ethics application.
Further information regarding HRECs is available at the NHMRC website.
Maintaining Ethics Approval
To comply with the issued ethics approval and ensure ongoing approval, adequate reporting is required in line with the National Statement, Chapter 5.5 'Monitoring Approved Research'.
Researchers are responsible for providing annual summative reports and a completion report to the Human Research Ethics Office. To extend the approval period an Extension Request can be submitted and the approval period revised. For changes to an approved research project, including the project team, an Amendment Request must be submitted and any change approved prior to implementation.
Further, it is the researcher's responsibility to notify the Human Research Ethics Office of any unexpected adverse or serious events that my impact participant welfare in a timely manner.
Contact the Human Research Ethics Office at Torrens Australia University via email at firstname.lastname@example.org