ACU’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is responsible for ensuring that research conducted by ACU staff or students and involving humans as subjects or participants complies with the National Health & Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007), the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) and associated legislation and guidelines. In collaboration with the University’s research community, the HREC seeks to promote a culture of ethical, responsible research.

Universities must demonstrate that they have proper governance processes and procedures which conform to the requirements of relevant guidelines, codes and legislation, such as the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.  In addition, researchers and universities must adhere to the requirements and conditions of funding agencies, such as the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

The University has a number of committees that support different aspects of our research activities and help us to meet our governance requirements.

The primary role of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), known as Ethics committee, is to ensure that all research which involves humans is conducted in an ethical manner, and that the rights and interests of research participants are protected.
HREC review also increases the scrutiny of research and may offer valuable insights to researchers arising from the review process.

HREC also ensure that the principles of research merit and integrity, respect, beneficence and justice are upheld.
Australian Universities and some other research organisations are required to establish accredited HRECs to review the research undertaken by their staff and students.
Ethics review is in addition to normal peer review procedures and is guided by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

The ACU HREC is composed of both internal and external members who volunteer their time and experience. Membership categories are outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research to ensure that ethics committees possess the necessary experience and depth to review research.
Members are appointed for a term of 3 years. All appointments are renewable.
For more information refer to the HREC Terms of reference (TOR) (PDF 318KB)

The ACU HREC Terms of Reference have been drafted in accordance with the requirements of the National Statement.
For more information refer to the HREC Terms of reference (TOR) (PDF 318KB)

The ACU HREC meets 11 times a year during the months of February through December.

Relevant Catholic Education Offices for research conducted in Catholic Schools

Relevant Government Guidelines for research conducted in Schools in:

All applications to HREC must be peer reviewed prior to submission. Additional information: HREC peer review policy (PDF, 205.64 KB)

HREC Members are appointed for a renewable 3 year term. Vacancies arise from time to time.
Membership is open to internal and external applicants and aims at covering a range of expertise. Internal members are appointed from different discipline areas and faculties. External members are appointed in the following categories:

  • Lay man
  • Lay woman
  • Lawyer
  • Medical/health practitioner
  • Minister of Religion

If you are interested in becoming a member of the HREC email your Expression of Interest to Res.Ethics@acu.edu.au

Page last updated on 23/01/2020

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