ACU’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), Expedited Review Panel (ERP) and School Advisory Panel (SAP) are 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 (2023), 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 and Ethics Panels seek to promote a culture of ethical, responsible research.

The primary role of the HREC and Ethics Panels 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. Thorough review also increases the scrutiny of research and may offer valuable insights to researchers arising from the review process.

The HREC and Ethics Panels 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 (2023).

The risk profile of research applications determines the review process each application will be allocated to, and the associated timeframes for submission and review. Your application will be reviewed by either the Chair of the HREC, the Ethics Review Panel (ERP), the School Advisory Panel (SAP), or it will be referred to the full HREC to be considered at its next meeting.

Only the HREC and the SAP have strict Meeting dates and deadlines. All other processes are reviewed out-of-session and have NO deadlines. Visit the ethics approval page to determine which application process applies to your research.

HREC Terms of Reference

The HREC Terms of Reference outline the purpose and operating procedures of the Human Research Ethics Committee.

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HREC meeting dates and deadlines

The ACU HREC normally meets 11 times per year on the second Thursday of each month from February to December.

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HREC membership

Membership is open to internal and external applicants and aims at covering a range of expertise, discipline areas and faculties.

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Page last updated on 05/04/2024

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