Development of the 2017 ART guidelines

Through the work of the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC), NHMRC develops health advice and provides a framework for ethical behaviour in health care and in the conduct of medical research. AHEC’s advice is used by policy makers, clinicians, researchers, human research ethics committees and members of research institutions to guide decision-making on human research and matters of human health. AHEC periodically reviews human ethics guidelines for currency in the Australian context.

Under Section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992  the CEO (or CEO approved delegate) is authorised to establish any working committee deemed necessary to assist the functions of the CEO, Council, or a Principal Committee. The CEO establishes working committees when required to seek advice, support, research or expertise from outside NHMRC in order to achieve a specific NHMRC outcome. Members of Council or the Principal Committees may at times be invited to participate on a working committee in their area of expertise.

The ART Working Committee

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Working Committee was established on 16 April 2013 to advise AHEC on the review of the ethical guidelines on the clinical practice of ART (Part B of the ART guidelines). Appointments to the ART Working Committee conclude on 31 December 2017.

Public consultation

To inform the development of revised ethical guidance in Part B of the ART guidelines, public consultation on the current ethical guidance was conducted over the period 11 March – 30 April 2014. Sixty-five submissions were received.

All submissions received were considered by the ART Working Committee to develop the DRAFT ethical guidelines which also underwent public consultation during 23 July – 17 September 2015. One hundred and eighty-seven submissions were received. These submissions informed the final document considered by AHEC and the Council.

Where NHMRC has the permission of the author, submissions to both public consultations are available from the NHMRC Public Consultation website.

Release of the 2017 ART guidelines

On 20 April 2017, the CEO of NHMRC, Professor Anne Kelso AO, issued the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017.

Major changes

A summary of the major revisions is available below.

Questions and Answers

A number of answers to common questions about the 2017 ART guidelines and the review process are available below. 


Briefing with Professor Anne Kelso AO and Professor Ian Olver AM (audio only).


Further Information

For further information please contact NHMRC at