Endeavour College of Natural Health's Human Research Ethics Committee provides researchers an external review process to ensure proposed research projects are ethically acceptable.

  • 5 minutes
  • 15 February 2019

A Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is a central aspect to ethical research involving human participants which follows the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It is the responsibility of a HREC to review research proposals involving human participants and to ensure that they are ethically sound and are in accordance to the relevant guidelines.

Endeavour College of Natural Health's Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00358) oversees an external review process and research projects that are deemed acceptable will be approved and monitored by the Committee.

Applying for Human Research Ethics clearance

Applications for ethical clearance can be submitted at any time and will be presented to the HREC at the next available committee meeting. Upon submission, researchers will receive an email to confirm receipt of their ethics application. Following clearance by the HREC, researchers will receive a designated code for all future correspondence related to that project and a letter of approval. In some instances, applicants may be asked to provide additional information or clarification regarding their research project prior to a decision regarding ethical clearance being made by the HREC. The following forms are required for applications:

Full ethical review application

The Endeavour HREC requires all full ethics submission to be conducted using the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) submission platform. HREA ensures that all key aspects of ethical guidelines are addressed. The following documents must be submitted for full ethical review.

  • HREA application form
  • Participant information sheet
  • Informed consent form
  • Data collection methods

Low risk ethical research application

Low risk research is defined as the kind which the only foreseeable risk to participants is one of discomfort. The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research describes discomfort as “less serious than harm…which can involve body and /or mind. Discomforts include, for example, minor side effects of medication, the discomforts related to measuring blood pressure, and anxiety induced by an interview” (NS S2 2.1). Low risk applications are reviewed by the full HREC, or where it has been appointed, the Executive Committee of the HREC. The following documents must be submitted for review.

  • HREC low risk application form
  • HREA application form
  • Participant information sheet
  • Informed consent form
  • Data collection methods

Reciprocal approval

If you have received ethics approval from any NHMRC registered HREC, Endeavour’s HREC is able to provide reciprocal approval for researchers conducting projects that involve multiple institutions or facilities. Reciprocal applications for ethical clearance will be reviewed by the HREC Chair person. If there are any ethical concerns with the application, the application will be reviewed by, where it has been appointed, the Executive Committee of the HREC or the full standing HREC. In order to be considered for reciprocal review, submit the following documentation.

  • HREC reciprocal ethics approval application form
  • Original application from the approving HREC (including relevant attachments)
  • Approval letter, or equivalent, from the approving HREC
  • Any amendments and corresponding approval letters by the approving HREC
  • Any other correspondence with the approving HREC, including previous progress reports

Meeting dates

2019 HREC Meeting Calendar

Approved Project Monitoring

Monitoring of approved research projects is done on a yearly basis and requires submission of an Annual Report to the HREC Secretary. A reminder will be sent prior to the 3 October deadline to ensure compliance with reporting requirements are met. When a project comes to a close, a Final Report must be submitted within two months of completing your research project.

All projects that have been granted ethical clearance which require an amendment to any aspect of the project, are required to notify the HREC by submitting an Amendment Application to the HREC Secretary for approval by the HREC or if appointed, the Executive Ethics Committee.

Process of receiving and handling complaints

A complaint about an Endeavour HREC approved research project can be made by completing and submitting a Complaint Application to the HREC Secretary. The HREC Secretary is responsible for obtaining a complaint in writing from the complainant and will notify the Chair of the HREC in a timely manner. The Chair is nominated to handle complaints or concerns about an approved research project. The Chair will respond to the complainant with acknowledgement and outline the process for investigating the issue. If the complaint does not require further investigation, the Chair will inform the complainant. If the Chair deems that further investigation and/or consequence are required, the Chair will convene with the Research Management Committee to determine the appropriate level of action. Should the complaint require further investigation, the compliant will be reported to the following:

  • Notification of the complaint to the Associate Director - Research
  • Report the complaint to College Council
  • Report the complaint to any other institutional HRECs that have approved the research project

In conjunction with the feedback from the Research Management Committee, the HREC Secretary will send a letter of notification to the Chief Investigator of the project in question, outlining the concern or complaint and the appropriate mechanism of investigation.

HREC documents

HREC Reciprocal Approval Cover Sheet

HREC Amendment Application

HREC Expedited Review Application

HREC Low Risk Application

HREC Low Risk Participant Information Sheet

HREC High Risk Participant Information Sheet

HREC Annual Report

HREC Final Report

Additional information

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018

Human Research Ethical Clearance Policy

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Values and Ethics – Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research

Guidelines approved under Section 95A of the Privacy Act 1988
Flow Chart - Determining whether the S95A Guidelines Apply

Guidelines under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988
Flow Chart - Determining whether the S95 Guidelines Apply

Understanding Consent in Research Involving Children: The ethical issues

International Charter for Ethical Research Involving Children

The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research

Office of Research Funding Policy

HREC Membership

Should you be interested in being appointed to the Endeavour HREC, complete the HREC Membership Expression of Interest application and send to the HREC Secretary. Available memberships is limited to the guidelines as stated in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018.

Contact HREC

All applications and correspondence is made through the HREC Secretary at HREC@endeavour.edu.au.