Research ethics

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.

Quality Improvement

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).

Contacts for WA Health HRECs
HREC Local sites associated with HREC Contact details WA Health SER Lead HREC
Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS)
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children Ethics Committee (external site) All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of CAHS including:
  • Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
  • Child and Adolescent Community Health
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
GPO Box D184
Perth WA 6840
P: 9340 8221
E: pmhethics@health.wa.gov.au
Yes

Department of Health

The use or disclosure of personal information from the Department of Health data collections for use in research must be approved by the Department of Health HREC. For further information refer to the WA-Specific Module.

Department of Health WA Human Research Ethics Committee (external site)

Department of Health Department of Health
Level 1, C Block
189 Royal Street 
East Perth WA 6004
P: 9222 4278
E: hrec@health.wa.gov.au
No
East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS)
Royal Perth Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (external site)
 
All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of: 
  • Armadale Health Service 
  • Royal Perth Group
Royal Perth Hospital
Level 5, Room 5108 Colonial House, Murray Street
Perth WA 6000
P: 9224 2260
E:EMHS.REG@health.wa.gov.au
 Yes
 North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS)
North Metropolitan Health Service, Mental Health Human Research Ethics Committee (external site)

All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of NMHS Mental Health including:

  • Statewide Mental Health Services
  • Statewide Forensic Mental Health Services
  • Adult Mental Health Services
  • Older Adult Mental Health Services
Graylands Hospital
Locked Bag No. 1
Claremont WA 6910
P: 9347 6502
E: NMAHSMHREGO@health.wa.gov.au
Yes
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Group Human Research Ethics Committee

All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of NMHS (excluding NMHS Mental Health and WNHS) including:

  • Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group
  • Swan District Hospital
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital,
2nd Floor, A Block
Hospital Avenue 
Nedlands WA 6009
P: 9346 2999
E: HREC.SCGH@health.wa.gov.au
Yes
Women and Newborn Health Service Ethics Committee (external site)

All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of Women and Newborn Health Service (WNHS) including:

  • King Edward Memorial Hospital
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
GPO Box D184
Perth WA 6840
P: 9340 7845
E: kemhethics@health.wa.gov.au
Yes
South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS)
South Metropolitan Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee (external site)
All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of: 
  • Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group                                
  • Rockingham Peel Group
  • South Metropolitan Mental Health Service
SMHS Research Ethics and Governance Unit
Level 3, Perkins Murdoch Campus
Fiona Stanley Hospital Campus
11 Robin Warren Drive
Murdoch WA 6150
P: 6151 1180
E: SMHS.REG@health.wa.gov.au
Yes
Western Australia Country Health Services (WACHS)
WA Country Health Service Board Research Ethics Committee (external site)

All WA Health facilities under the jurisdiction of WACHS regions including:

  • Kimberley
  • Pilbara
  • Midwest
  • Goldfields
  • Wheatbelt
  • South West
  • Great Southern
WA Country Health Service
189 Wellington Street
PO Box 6680
East Perth Business Centre WA 6892
E: research.ethicscommittee@health.wa.gov.au
Yes

Contacts for specialist HRECs external to WA Health 


Approval by the WA Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC) is required before you may conduct health and medical research if Aboriginality is a key determinant or explicitly directed at Aboriginal people. For further information refer to the WA-Specific Module (Word 237KB).

Contacts for all WA HRECs

Find out more about Western Australian Human Research Ethics Committees registered with the NHMRC (external site).

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Research Development Unit