Ethical Review is required for any Research project that is proposed in Australia. Ramsay Health Care will accept Ethical Review undertaken by either a Ramsay HREC or a Reviewing HREC.
In accordance with the Facility Rules, prior to the commencement of Research at a Ramsay Health Care Facility, the Principal Investigator must have received:
- Ethics Approval from a Ramsay HREC or a Reviewing HREC following the completion of the Ethical Review process; and
- a Research Governance Approval letter from the CEO of the Facility where the Research is to be conducted following the completion of the Research Governance Review process by Ramsay Health Care.
The Ethics Approval letter must list all Ramsay Facilities where the Research will be undertaken as well as any other relevant Facilities and external sites.
Ramsay Health Care Human Research Ethics Committees (HREC)
Ramsay reviews Ethics applications from researchers who are accredited practitioners at Ramsay facilities, and Ramsay Health Care staff members.
Ethical Review of the Research may be undertaken by Ramsay HRECs if:
- the Principal Investigator is an accredited health professional at a Facility where it is proposed the Research will be conducted (including Multi-Site Research projects);
- the Principal Investigator wishing to undertake the Research is a Ramsay Health Care employee; or
- the Research will be conducted in co-located Practitioners rooms and is Low or Negligible Risk Research.
HREC Contact Information
Effective 30 January 2023, Ramsay Health Care operates two Human Research Ethics Committees.
- The Ramsay Health Care WA|SA Human Research Ethics Committee:
For further information and queries please email the RHC WA|SA HREC Executive Officer at RamsayHREC.WA-SA@ramsayhealth.com.au or phone (08) 9400 9897
- The Ramsay Health Care Human Research Ethics Committee A (previously the NSW|VIC HREC and QLD HREC):
For further information and queries please email the RHC HREC A Executive Officer at HREC.RHC@ramsayhealth.com.au or phone (02) 9433 3854
Ethical Conduct of Research
As research involving human participants is experimental in nature, it is imperative that any projects are conducted in a manner which respects, protects, and minimises harm to participants. Any proposed research must demonstrate that it has merit and will be conducted with integrity, in order for the involvement of human participants in research to be ethically justified.
In Australia, the The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2023) sets the national standards for any individual, institution or organisation conducting human research and is intended to help them to meet their responsibilities.
In 2018, the NHMRC, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia also jointly published the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 which articulates the broad principles and responsibilities that underpin the conduct of Australian research.
For further information on Australian Research obligations and standards, please visit www.nhmrc.gov.au/research-policy/ethics-and-integrity.
Lower Risk Research
The National Statement provides definitions and criteria for Low and Minimal risk research, which can be subject to lower levels of ethical review not involving full HREC review. Under some circumstances, research that carries only negligible risk may be exempted from ethical review. You will be advised by the HREC if this is the case.
The three types of study which Ramsay HRECs will consider as LNR applications are:
1. Low Risk Research: The National Statement describes Low risk research (including some types of clinical trials), as research in which the only foreseeable risk is no greater than discomfort. Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort, the research is not considered to be low risk.
2. Minimal Risk Research: The National Statement describes research as “minimal risk” where there is no foreseeable risk of harm or discomfort; and any foreseeable risk is not more than minor burden or inconvenience to the participants. Inconvenience is the least form of harm that is possible for human participants in research. Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more than inconvenience, the research is not negligible risk.
3. Quality Assurance (QA) Activities: QA studies are activities where the primary purpose is to monitor, evaluate or improve the quality of health care delivered by a health care provider. Such studies are an essential and integral part of health care delivery. The ethical principles of integrity, respect for persons, beneficence and justice apply to all QA activities just as they do in research studies.
It can be difficult to clearly identify whether a proposed study is QA or research. Additionally, some QA activities raise ethical issues which may require review by the full Ethics Committee.
If you are unsure whether or not your study qualifies for LNR ethical review, please contact the Ethics Secretary of your relevant committee.
Authorised Prescriber Scheme
A Ramsay HREC can consider an application by an accredited health professional of a Facility for endorsement for the purpose of becoming an authorised prescriber of an unapproved therapeutic good under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) at that Facility.
Applications for Authorised Prescriber Scheme endorsement by the Ramsay Health Care HRECs must be made via REGGS.
Practitioners are referred to the Therapeutic Goods Administration Guidance for further information on the Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
To download instructions and a checklist of required documentation click here.
Please contact the HRECs for further information.