This handbook outlines the requirements and procedures for the certification of institutions under our National Certification Scheme of Institutional Processes Related to the Ethical Review of Multi-centre Research.

The handbook is currently under review. Before commencing steps to apply for certification, please contact us at for further advice.

Publication Data

Reference number

It should be used by institutions and officers supporting Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) as a guide to applying for certification. Institutions that have been certified by us should also refer to this document as it details important information about on-going reporting requirements, applying for a renewal of certification, complaints handling processes and the suspension or revocation of certification.

Please note: Due to recent developments some aspects of the handbook are no longer relevant. A Guidance Note is available which lists the Handbook sections and provides brief advice about their current status.


NHMRC collects personal information from institutions and their HRECs as part of the National Certification Scheme for the ethics review of multi-centre research.

This information is used by NHMRC to contact institutions and their HRECs directly, confirm that an institution and HREC agree to the terms of certification, and verify that an HREC’s appointed members meet the requirements of paragraphs 5.1.29–5.1.31 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. HREC contact email addresses that do not include personal names or are already publically available may be provided to external third parties. However, all other access to this information will be limited to NHMRC staff.

Without this information, the HREC and institution will not be certified, nor will their certification be maintained.

By providing this information, institutions and their HRECs acknowledge that it will be stored by NHMRC.

Further information is provided in the NHMRC Privacy Policy or by emailing