Ethical Responsibilities

Ethical Responsibilities

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

The 2023 National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research takes effect 1 January 2024. Meanwhile, the current 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 (NMA) Data Linkage Guide 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 NMA Data Linkage Guide and other relevant documents available to download can be found here.

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