Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (Values and Ethics) provides guidance to researchers and Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) on the complex considerations necessary in the conception, design and conduct of appropriate research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Values and Ethics was developed by an Australian Health Ethics Committee working committee in 2003 and replaced the Guidelines on ethical matters in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (1991).
Keeping Research on Track: A guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics (Keeping Research on Track) is a companion document to Values and Ethics. Values and Ethics and Keeping Research on Track are to be used together, along with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007-updated 2014).
Review of guidelines
Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (2003) and Keeping research on track: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics (2006) are both currently under review.
NHMRC commissioned an evaluation of both documents and this was undertaken on behalf of NHMRC by the Lowitja Institute throughout July-October 2013 (in conjunction with the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies - AIATSIS). The evaluation of both guidelines included extensive consumer engagement via consultation and workshops held around Australia.
The evaluation report and accompanying literature review produced by the Lowitja Institute (in conjunction with AIATSIS) will inform the review of the two guidelines. The evaluation highlighted issues that are in scope for the review of the two guidelines and issues that are outside the remit of NHMRC. A working committee will be established under section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 to undertake this review.
It is expected that work on the review will commence in late 2014. Further consultation will occur as part of this review.