The Human Research Ethics Application (HREA)

As part of the initiative to streamline ethics approval, NHMRC has developed the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) as a replacement for the National Ethics Application Form (NEAF). The aim of the HREA is to be a concise application to facilitate efficient and effective ethics review for research involving humans. The application will assist researchers to consider the ethical principles of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) in relation to their research, rather than focus on requirements for approval.

Applications can now be made at

The application has been designed to be compatible with existing information management systems used to manage ethics applications.

The HREA has been developed with input from representatives from Human Research Ethics Committees, public and private hospitals, universities, Medical Research Institutes and Commonwealth and State/Territory government departments, and with the oversight and leadership of the HREA Advisory Group. The membership of the HREA Advisory Group is here

HREA training resources

NHMRC held a two hour workshop on the HREA at the Australasian Ethics Network Conference 2016. The workshop focused on how to create, manage and submit ethics applications using the HREA. A number of attendees requested that NHMRC publish the slides from the workshop to use for their own institutional training purposes. Please note that these slides were created using screenshots from the HREA beta version, and as such may not directly align with future versions of the HREA. However, the principles will not change.

If you would like to discuss your plans for institutional training with NHMRC, feel free to contact us at

The HREA in practice workshop slides. 

Progress Updates

Please note this video demonstrates an early draft version of the HREA and the questions shown may change.

Completed Activities

  • In May 2014 NHMRC undertook a targeted consultation on the proposed structure and content of Building a new application form for use in human research. Stakeholders were asked to provide comment on a number of aspects, including the suitability of key proposed features, the applicability for low risk research, indicative content and any potential barriers.
  • In July 2014 NHMRC engaged an IT provider to design the IT requirements and solution for the proposed application.
  • In September 2014 NHMRC published the outcomes of the consultation and began to work with the Human Research Ethics Application Advisory Group to progress the development of the content and structure of the application.
  • In June 2015 NHMRC engaged an IT provider to commence the IT development of the application.
  • In June 2015, NHMRC developed a proof of concept for the IT solution for the application.
  • In 2016 NHMRC undertook beta testing for three months to ensure the HREA was rigorously tested by a broad range of stakeholders and any potential issues resolved.
  • Version 1.0 of the HREA was released on 14 December 2016.


Further resources available here.

Further information

For technical assistance using the HREA, please contact HREA Help at or 02 6217 9902.