Ethics and Governance Application Process

Submitting the ethics application

The process for submitting an ethics application is determined by the following factors:

  • Trial design: single-site or multi-site
  • Type of health service: publicly or privately funded
  • Location of site: ie the state/territory

For single-site trials, any privately funded health services that are part of a multi-site trial, and any sites in the Northern Territory or Tasmania, the Sponsor-Investigator must use the reviewing Human Research Ethics Committee's (HREC) ethics application process.  

If the trial is multi-site, National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) supports the acceptance of a single scientific and ethical review for all sites that are publicly-funded health services across Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.  

Under the nationally harmonised approach, multi-site research projects are subject to a single ethical review by a HREC at a certified institution. If the project is approved, ethics approval may be adopted by participating institutions. 

Further information about submitting an ethics application for multi-site research within any of the Australian states or territories participating in the NMA scheme, is available from the Victorian Health website.

Submitting the research governance or site-specific assessment application

A research project that has been ethically approved is also subject to Site-Specific Assessment (SSA) by institutions wishing to participate in the research, each of which must authorise the project before it can proceed at its site/s. 

For information about submitting a research governance/SSA application for sites in states and territories participating in the NMA scheme, refer to the Victorian Health website.

Trials involving sites in Tasmania or Northern Territory

For information about submitting an ethics or research governance or SSA application for projects involving sites in Tasmania or the Northern Territory, refer to the relevant site:

Factors impacting ethics process

Download factors impacting the ethics process.