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Barwon Health / Research

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Prior Approval Applications

Applying for a Barwon Health Reference Number

All applications submitted to Barwon Health for review are required to generate a reference number via the Barwon Health Research Reference Number Generator (please open with Google Chrome).

Please ensure that the Barwon Health reference number is quoted at the time of your submission.

The Australian Code and the National Statement advise that institutions conducting research must have good institutional governance, ethical review, and management practices. As such all research applications and monitoring documents are required to undergo ethics and governance review.

The National Human Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Department of Health support the streamlining of ethics review and approval processes wherever possible, and have established the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme. The NMA is a national system for mutual acceptance of scientific and ethical review for multi-centre research conducted in publicly funded health services. This scheme allows new research applications that have already undergone review and approval by another NHMRC accredited Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to be accepted by the subsequent HREC on the basis of 'prior approval'. Such applications will be considered for expedited approval in accordance with the 'National Statement - Chapter 5.3 - Minimising Duplication of Ethical Review':

'Guidelines 5.3.1 - Wherever more than one institution has a responsibility to ensure that a human research project is subject to ethical review (see paragraph 5.1.1), each institution has the further responsibility to adopt a review process that eliminates any unnecessary duplication of ethical review.'

Accordingly, Barwon Health has established a mechanism to review, accept, and acknowledge the prior approval of research by other NHMRC accredited HRECs.

Applications for Barwon Health acknowledgement of prior approval are reviewed out of session by the REGI Unit, as well as HREC members if appropriate, and are ratified by the Barwon Health HREC. Applications can be submitted for review at any time. 

Is my research application eligible for Acknowledgement of Prior HREC Approval?

Applications for Prior HREC Approval are only accepted when HREC approval has been obtained from:

  • A university; or
  • A non-NMA HREC (in NT, WA or TAS)

If HREC approval has been issued from an NMA HREC (in VIC, NSW, QLD or SA), the application is not eligible for Prior HREC Approval and must be submitted via the Single Ethical Review Process (SERP). 

How to submit an application for acknowledgement of prior approval

  • Please submit a signed application for Acknowledgement of Prior HREC Approval - form available on the Forms webpage (the REGI Unit accepts scanned signatures)
  • To facilitate timely approval, please submit the approval certificates issued by other HRECs, as well as all documents listed on the approval certificate
  • Please include the appropriate Barwon Health logos and contacts details on application documents where appropriate, before submission
  • Consider and complete any contracts/agreements where necessary
  • Please ensure that all documents are appropriately named prior to submission - please refer to the Document Naming Guidelines found on the Guidelines and advice webpage

Last Modified: Tuesday, 09 June 2020