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.