The University of Newcastle, Australia

Human Ethics approvals from external HRECs

Under the University’s Collaborative Research and Ethics Approval Guideline human ethics approvals issued by external Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) may be recognised by the University in certain circumstances, rather than also requiring approval from the University’s HREC.

Refer to the Guideline to determine if an external approval is able to be:

  1. Registered (refer to clauses 12-14 of the Guideline); or
  2. Reported (refer to clause 15 of the Guideline).

Please contact Human Ethics for advice if required.


Registering an external approval in RIMS

The RIMS User Guide for External Registrations provides instructions on how to register an external approval in RIMS. Please ensure you include all the required documentation:

  • Copy of the external HREC application (may be a HREA)
  • Copy of the external HREC approval letter
  • Copy of any documents listed on the external HREC approval letter (e.g. information and consent forms, surveys, assessments)
  • Copy of any correspondence with the external HREC leading to the approval (e.g. response to change requests or clarification)

You will also need to register any variations or renewals that are subsequently approved by the external HREC (these instructions are also in the User Guide).

Please note that as per section 8 of the Guideline, only approvals granted by Australian HRECs can be registered.


Arrangements with Hunter New England Local Health District

The University has an agreement with Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) where approval from the HREC of one institution may be accepted by the other, rather than also requiring a second review.

In some cases it may still be necessary to obtain approval from both the University HREC and HNE HREC e.g. where the research involves both staff/clients/patients/records/tissue at HNELHD and staff/students/records at the University.

The table below describes which HREC is responsible for approving a project, depending on the research location and participants.

ResearchersResearch participantsResearch locationApproving HRECRegister with
University researchersPatients, staff, clients, records, or human tissue samples of HNELHDHNELHDHNE HRECUniversity
University researchersN/A – using HNELHD facilities or equipment onlyHNELHDUniversity HRECHNELHD
HNELHD researchersStudents, staff or records of the UniversityUniversityUniversity HRECHNELHD

Registration with the University

HNE HREC approvals can be registered with the University using the instructions above.

HNELHD researchers with research grant funding that will be administered by the University also need to register any related HNE HREC approval/s with the University.

Registration with HNELHD

University HREC approvals to be registered with the HNELHD need to be submitted to the HNELHD Manager - Research Ethics and Governance within 14 days of approval and include:

  • Copy of the University HREC approval letter
  • Copy of the full application submitted to the University HREC
  • Copy of any correspondence with the University HREC leading to the approval (e.g. response/s to change requests or clarification/s)