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: i.e. the state/territory

For single-site trials and any privately funded health services that are part of a multi-site trial, 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 all states and territories in Australia.  

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 under 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 participating in the NMA scheme, refer to the Victorian Health website.

Factors impacting ethics process

Download factors impacting the ethics process.