Human Research Ethics Committees
Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) provide the scientific and ethical review of proposed human research projects, taking into consideration:
- the scientific design and proposed conduct of the project
- how participants will be recruited, including the means of obtaining consent
- care and protection from harm of research participants
- protection of research participants’ confidentiality.
Scientific and ethical approval must be obtained and form part of the governance approval, prior to a request for authorisation to the chief executive or delegate. Ethics Executive Officers (EEOs) provide administrative support to the HREC.
All human research conducted in WA Health must undergo scientific and ethical review, approval and monitoring by a HREC registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC’s) Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) and operating in accordance with the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (external site).
In addition investigators conducting:
- single-centre research within WA Health should apply to their site's local HREC for ethical approval
- multi-centre research should use the WA Health Single Ethical Review process until the National Mutual Acceptance process is implemented within WA Health. Refer to multi-centre research for more information.
The WA Health Research Governance Framework provides further information on WA Health ethical and governance review processes.
Information on specific ethical and scientific review processes at each health service can be obtained from the relevant site or health service.
Find research governance forms or research ethics forms.
For information on the difference between quality improvement (QI) and research, and the requirements for QI ethical review refer to the NHMRC “Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities” 2014 (external site).
Research Development Unit