In 2006, the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) requested the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) facilitate the development and implementation of a national system where the single ethical review by an HREC would be recognised by all institutions participating in a collaborative research project. The National Approach to Single Ethical Review of Multi-Centre Research (National Approach) aims to reduce the duplication of ethics review and improve timelines for research start-up.
While the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Statement) has long supported the review of multi-centre research by a single HREC, the conduct of single ethical review under the National Approach is done by a HREC affiliated with a certified institution. In order to achieve certification, an institution undergoes an independent assessment by the certifying body (NHMRC). Prior to being granted certification, an institution must demonstrate through a desktop assessment and on-site assessment process that their multi-centre ethical review processes and supporting infrastructure meet agreed national criteria.
Bellberry has been providing multi-centre ethical reviews since 2005 and recognises the importance of gaining certification under the National Approach. Bellberry has been granted certification of our ethical review processes relating to all four Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committees A, B, C & D.
Further information on the National Approach, including tools and guidance material, is available on the NHMRC Human Research Ethics Portal (HREP). Please click here to access the HREP.