A Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is a central aspect to ethical research involving human participants which follows the National Statement on Ethical Conduct 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.
The Endeavour College of Natural Health HREC (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 National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) is an interactive web based tool for researchers to complete research ethics applications for submission to a HREC. NEAF ensures that all key aspects of ethical guidelines are addressed.
Low/negligible risk ethical research application
Low risk research is defined as the kin 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).
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. In order to be considered for reciprocal review, please submit the following documentation:
- Endeavour 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
The policy governing the ethical review and approval process at Endeavour College of Natural Health is the Human Research Ethical Clearance Policy.
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 to Approved Proposals form to the HREC secretary via HREC@endeavour.edu.au.
Monitoring of approved research projects is done on a yearly basis and requires submission of an annual progress report to the HREC secretary. You will be notified every 12 months of your research projects duration of the required submission date of your Annual Progress Report. At the completion of your project, you are required to submit a Final Report.
Process of receiving and handling complaints
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 the person 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.
All applications and correspondence is made through the HREC secretary at HREC@endeavour.edu.au.