National Certification Scheme
NHMRC has assessed and certified the ethics review processes of the institutions listed in the below PDF document. This document includes the names of certified institutions and their HRECs, periods of certification, certified research categories and each certified institution’s website address.
Prior to submitting a research application to any of these institutions, researchers should contact the relevant institution regarding their readiness to conduct single ethics review of multi-centre research studies and the processes to be followed. These will vary at both institutional and jurisdictional levels.
Advice received from a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) undertaking single ethics review will not replace the need for local decision-making on other aspects of research governance. Final authorisation will occur through institutional or jurisdictional research governance processes.
National Mutual Acceptance Scheme
In 2013, the Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Departments of Health, and the New South Wales Ministry of Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) of ethics and scientific review of clinical trials conducted in each of the participating jurisdictions’ public health organisations. In December 2015, the scope of NMA was expanded beyond clinical trials to include all human research. In August 2016, the Australian Capital Territory joined the NMA and Western Australia joined in August 2017.
In order for ethics reviews of human research to be accepted under NMA, the HREC conducting the review must be under the authority of an institution certified under the NHMRC National Certification Scheme, and also be a Certified Reviewing HREC under the NMA scheme. Further information on the NMA, including a list of NMA Certified Reviewing HRECs can be found at:
- New South Wales Ministry of Health
- Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
- South Australia Health
- Queensland Department of Health
- Australian Capital Territory Health
- Western Australia Department of Health
Please note that the Queensland Department of Health has a Central Allocation Service for the allocation of multi-centre research for review by a certified HREC. A Booking Form is available on the Queensland Government website. Researchers from any state can submit an application for review by this method to cover public institutions from the states that are participants in the National Certification Scheme.
For all public health services within Victoria, applicants must contact the Central Allocation System (CAS) by phone (03 9096 7395) for allocation regarding ethics review of multi-centre clinical trials.