The role of Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) in health privacy

In undertaking ethical assessment review of research proposals, HRECs consider the protection of privacy of those participating in research, or data used in research. HRECs must first consider which legislation might apply to research proposals, i.e. Commonwealth or state/territory legislation, bearing in mind that in some cases more than one Act will apply.

HRECs then consider whether a research proposal conforms to the relevant privacy principles, and where necessary, apply the Guidelines Under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988 (s95 guidelines) or Guidelines approved under Section 95A of the Privacy Act 1988 (s95A guidelines) or other relevant guidelines.

The following documents have been developed to assist researchers and HRECs with the appropriate application of the s95 and s95A guidelines.

As part of their annual report to NHMRC, all HRECs registered with NHMRC are asked about their use of these guidelines when reviewing research proposals.


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