Ethical Responsibilities

Ethical Responsibilities

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated 2018) sets out the national standards for ethical design, review and conduct of human research. Compliance with the National Statement is a prerequisite for receipt of National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council Funding. In addition, the National Statement sets national standards for use by any individual, institution or organisation conducting human research. This includes human research undertaken by governments, industry, private individuals, organisations, or networks of organisations. The National Statement is organised around the values of respect, research merit and integrity, justice, and beneficence.

Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders (2018) provides a set of principles to ensure research is safe, respectful, responsible, high quality and of benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. The Guidelines define six core values — spirit and integrity, cultural continuity, equity, reciprocity, respect, and responsibility. Keeping research on track II describes how the values and principles can be put into practice in research.

The National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme
Since 1 May 2020, researchers have been able to apply for ethical review of linked data studies through a number of specialist NMA Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs). The National Mutual Acceptance Scheme Ethical Review Arrangements for Multi-Jurisdiction Data Linkage Studies Guidance Document sets out the application process, the specialist NMA data linkage HRECs and the jurisdictions and/or specific cultural or populations being studied which are excluded from the NMA.

The NHMRC maintains a list of all registered Human Research Ethics Committees in Australia.


Australian HRECs specialising in data linkage review


ACT ACT Health Human Research Ethics Committee
Commonwealth Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Ethics Committee
NSW NSW Population and Health Service Research Ethics Committee
QLD Townsville HREC
  Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital (RBWH) HREC
  Metro South Hospital and Health Services
  The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) HREC
SA SA Department for Health and Wellbeing Human Research Ethics Committee
TAS Tasmania Health & Medical Human Research Ethics Committee
VIC Alfred Health HREC
  Austin Health HREC
  Melbourne Health HREC
  Monash Health HREC
  Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre HREC
  Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne) HREC
  St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne) HREC
WA Department of Health WA Human Research Ethics Committee


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HRECs


Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (SA)
Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee
Human Research Ethics Committee of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Menzies School of Health Research
WA Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee